Electrolux commits to $55 million investment in Lenoir County
Company will produce up to 535 new dishwashers per day
May 14, 2009
Mayor Buddy Ritch, center, thanks economic development director Mark Pope for brining business to Lenoir County after Electrolux announced its expansion of the diswasher product line at a press conference Thursday at the Kinston County Club.
Photo: Janet Sutton / The Free Press
Electrolux will invest $55 million during the next five years in its Lenoir County plant.
Lenoir County Economic Development director Mark Pope announced Thursday the Electrolux site in Lenoir County will soon manufacture a low-end dishwasher product line in the coming weeks.
"It's good news today," Pope said. "This investment could have gone to another site in China or Mexico. We were able to keep this in Lenoir County."
The company will invest $55 million in its 500,000 square-foot local facility to get ready for the product launch. Pope said the company will produce between 500 and 535 dishwashers a day, which will be sold at Sears and Lowes stores.
The Lenoir County commissioners agreed to provide Electrolux with a $500,000 incentive to make the move, which will be paid out during the next five years. Pope said the investment could bring additional jobs to the site but the incentive agreement didn't mandate that the company create new jobs through the investment.
In December, Electrolux laid off 100 workers at its Lenoir County site due to the slumping economy. Pope said the company could decide to bring laid off workers back once the facility is ready to produce the new dishwashers.
Electrolux is the world's largest manufacturer of kitchen appliances and equipment for cleaning and outdoor use with sales in more than 150 countries. Pope said the company will begin producing the new dishwashers this year.
Deputy Secretary of N.C. Dept. of Commerce Dale Carroll stopped in Kinston Thursday where he made an official announcement regarding Electrolux's investment in Lenoir County.
Electrolux first opened a facility in Lenoir County in 1989. The site once employed 1,100 workers. Today, the company employs 785 workers at the site; globally, the company employs 55,000 workers.
Lenoir County commissioner George Graham welcomed Electrolux's economic announcement.
Graham thanked the Lenoir Committee of 100 for its efforts to work with industries - including Electrolux - to expand or locate to the region. The Lenoir Committee of 100 celebrates its 24th anniversary in 2009.
"It's a very important day," Graham said. "The Committee of 100 does things local governments cannot do to attract business."
Kevin Dexter, Electrolux general manager and vice president, said his company has invested $75 million since 2004 at the Lenoir County facility.
When expansion plans were first discussed, the company's Lenoir County plant was one of several sites first considered for the expansion.
"The expansion was made possible by the cooperation of local and state officials," Dexter said.
Chris Lavender can be reached at (252) 559-1078 or email@example.com.
Electrolux $55 million investment plans at a glance
Company will begin to produce up to 535 dishwashersper day at Lenoir County plant
Laid off workers may be rehired to produce new dishwasher units
Lenoir County commissioners agree to $500,000 incentive package to seal deal
Company employs 55,000 works worldwide and 785 workers in Lenoir County