GE expands production in Louisville

For the first time, GE is producing a frontload washing machine and matching dryer from one of its U.S. plants.

In Building 1 at GE’s massive Appliance Park, where topload washing machines have been built for about 60 years, two new assembly lines, costing more $100 million, have begun producing high-efficiency frontload washing machines and dryers.

“The new frontload washer and dryer are examples of what we set out to accomplish with our investment in U.S. design and manufacturing capability … producing great products with features and performance that delight consumers,” said GE Appliances president and CEO Chip Blankenship. “Our team is committed to manufacture each unit here in Louisville with the highest quality levels and competitive costs.”

The start-up of these two lines completes the new product platforms GE committed to bring to Appliance Park in a 2010 announcement that stated it would invest $1 billion to transform its U.S. appliances business and products. Since that announcement, GE Appliances has hired 3,000 new employees in Louisville, 2,500 in 2012 alone.

In 2012, GE opened two refurbished factories in Louisville to house the first of the new product platforms -- the GeoSpring Hybrid Water Heater and French door refrigerator. It also added lines in two existing plants for new dishwasher and washing machine models.

Also, as part of the $1 billion investment, GE is investing in cooking products made in Lafayette, Ga., top-freezer refrigerators made in Decatur, Ala., and side-by-side refrigerators made in Bloomington, Ind.

“This is exciting news for our city and region, both for the 200 quality jobs that these new products bring and for the statement it makes about the quality of our local workforce and the confidence GE has in those men and women,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “For Louisville to be the first city in America to build GE’s new state-of-the-art appliances is also super exciting and bodes well for the future of our diverse and growing local economy.”

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