Once Made in China: Jobs Trickle Back to US Plants

The Wall Street Journal published an article featuring the return of the KitchenAid hand mixer assembly to Whirlpool’s Greenville, OH plant from China. Previously, only the KitchenAid stand mixer models were made in the US, mainly because they’re a premium product that is less susceptible to price competition. Mr. Good, the plant manager, and his team formulated a plan to make the reshoring of the hand mixer possible. Bringing the hand mixers back to the US has created 25 jobs at the plant and 10 more at their plastics supplier, Core Systems.

“Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool’s chief execute officer, says the company has more flexibility now that it makes the hand mixers in the U.S. If retailers suddenly want a different color or design, Whirlpool can ship it to them in a week or two, compared with a month or more needed to make and ship a changed product from a Chinese plant.”

A major contributing factor that plays in to the decision process for reshoring is the amount of money saved from inventory and shipping costs to offset the higher wages paid to American workers. Having an existing U.S. factory and being able to further automate its assembly line requiring less workers helped in Whirlpool’s final decision to reshore.

To read the full article, please visit WSJ.com.