Whirlpool to close Benton Harbor, Mich., plant

Posted June 1, 2010 at 1:40 p.m.

Reuters | Whirlpool Corp will close a Michigan machining plant ,
the No. 1 U.S appliance maker said Tuesday, resulting in the loss of
216 jobs.

Whirlpool said its newest, most efficient laundry appliances would be
made at its Clyde, Ohio plant, eliminating the jobs at a plant in Benton
Harbor, Mich., where the company is based, at year end or early in

The Michigan plant machines components for washers, but with fewer parts needed in the newer models that work will be done in Ohio, the company said.

About 30 percent of Whirlpool’s 67,000 worldwide work force is in the United States, with about 17,000 working in manufacturing positions, the company said. In the last year, Whirlpool said its U.S. manufacturing employee base has increased 12 percent.

The company did not disclose any charges related to the plant’s closure and did not return calls seeking comment.

In August 2009, Whirlpool announced plans to shut a freezer refrigerator plant in Evansville, Ind., and shift some production to Mexico in 2010. It said at the time it would take a $51 million charge for closing that facility and cutting about 1,100 full-time jobs.

Last month, Whirlpool posted a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit and full-year forecast on strong sales in Brazil, Asia and North America. A sluggish economy and weak housing market had had dented sales in North America, its top market.



  1. DBX June 1, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Sad to see Benton Harbor lose out — it desperately needs the jobs. But good that Whirlpool’s overall US manufacturing employment is still going up.

  2. JOHN C June 1, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    So much for Made in AMERICA, let us change that to made by cheap labor. Scratch that company off my list

  3. Jayo June 3, 2010 at 10:49 a.m.

    Whirlpool has been my favorite appliance supplier for many years. I have a refrigerator that I got in 1968 and it is still in service. Repairs through the years were just two replacement parts, a thermostat and defrost heater. Buy Whirlpool!