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On My Mind

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fisher & Paykel in the U.S.A.

At a time when many manufacturers are eyeing low-cost locales in Mexico or Asia, a New Zealand manufacturer of washers and dryers has set up shop in Ohio. Fisher & Paykel is a well-known brand in the Australian and New Zealand market, with a focus on energy and water efficient laundry appliances. The company produces direct-drive (no belt) and top-loading clothes washers, and dishwashers with pull-out drawers (the DishDrawer).

In 2005, F&P announced plans to move production of their SmartDrive washer line from Brisbane, Australia to Clyde, Ohio. The move was prompted by a desire to be close to North American markets so that freight costs are reduced and products can be delivered to customers more quickly. The new facility in Clyde, OH also makes sense because Clyde is home to a large division of Whirlpool and the two companies have had alliances in the past. F&P produces motors for Whirlpool and distributes Whirlpool products in New Zealand. In January 2007, F&P announced that its new AquaSmart clothes washer, which has energy and water saving features, will be assembled at the Clyde, OH facility.

When Fisher & Paykel was beginning its U.S. production, I was contacted by a representative of the company who was interested in official “Made in USA” labeling requirements so that the company could emphasize the fact that their products were being manufactured in the U.S. The move to the U.S. seems to be paying off; the company reports in their Annual Report for 2005-2006 that U.S. sales are now the largest source of revenue (38 percent of appliance sales), exceeding revenues from Australian or New Zealand.

If a company such as Fisher & Paykel recognizes the value of the American market, and feels that “Made in USA” is an important marketing theme, perhaps some of our own manufacturers will wake to the growing interest among U.S. shoppers to “buy American.”

Stephanie, Webmaster


At 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats really cool to hear. At least someone is interested in US based manufacturing. The Australian dollar may have something to do with the decision. As our dollar crashes, look for more manufacturers to make that decision.

At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Emmie Kay said...

I recently bought a Fisher & Paykel washer. I'm glad to hear that they have set up production in the States. I recently discovered that Vera Bradley bags are now being made in China. Goodbye, Vera Bradley, I will no longer buy your bags. I was willing to pay more for American quality, but now that your bags are made in China (and still sell for the same high price, mind you), I will buy my bags from Overland Equipment. I hope they continue to make their products here.

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Using your logic, is this company a sellout to New Zealand and Australia? What about the Australians that lost their jobs when the company moved to Ohio? Obviously they did it for revenue reasons... which is the same reason that American companies move overseas!

I will continue to buy ethically produced, quality, efficient products, for a fair price.... no matter where they are made.

At 8:37 AM, Anonymous David said...

Bleeding Heart "Anonymous" should realize if he/she wants to live and thrive in the USA, that is where their first loyalty should lie. Can't have it both ways, either support the company or buy from a foreign company, or both. I recently bought a Fisher & Paykel washer and am VERY pleased with it. I also drive a Japanese engineerd Toyota line car, probably assembled here in the U.S., but I'm not "whining" about the Japanese that may have lost their job of assemblying it here.

At 7:03 PM, Blogger Joel said...

Blah blah blah, anonymous should remain anonymous because his comment does not matter if you are hiding you identity. Some company's dont care when americans lose their jobs. We Americans DO.


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