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GE Appliances just landed a contract worth millions of dollars that will boost production by tens of thousands of refrigerators, dishwashers and ranges across the company’s manufacturing network, including Appliance Park in Louisville.

The company said that it has signed a new deal to manufacture appliances for Crosley Corp., which sells appliances under the Crosley, Crosley Professional and Conservator brands through independently owned distributors and retailers.

For GE Appliances, the contract means that additional tens of thousands of units will be made in GEA factories, including in Appliance Park building AP3.

Jason West

“We’re excited,” said Jason West, executive director of commercial strategy for GEA.

Crosley outsources manufacturing of its appliances, and GEA will sell the products to Crosley, which will generate millions of dollars in business, West said.

West told Insider that he could not talk about contract specifics or how many jobs the additional production would require at Appliance Park, but he said the Crosley deal would provide more volume, more stability and more consistency to GEA factories.

He also said the deal is another indicator of the company’s commitment to become the nation’s leading major appliance business, a goal the company announced about a month ago at its two-year anniversary of being acquired by China-based Qingdao Haier.

Crosley and the IUE-CWA Local 83761, which represents GEA’s hourly workers in Louisville, could not be immediately reached. The 1,000-acre local campus employs about 6,000.

Crosley has contracts with other manufacturers, and West said that GE Appliances has won the contract over a competitor, though he declined to say which one. However, the list of appliances in GEA’s announcement — refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, gas and electric free-standing ranges, and other kitchen appliances — points toward GEA’s gain being primarily a loss for Whirlpool.

West said Crosley chose GEA because it was impressed with the Louisville-based company’s people, product quality, production capabilities and delivery network.

In a news release, Crosley CEO Chris Harris said, “Our customers will benefit immensely from GE Appliances’ world-class products, service and innovation.”

Crosley, which offers a 10-year warranty on its products, sells its appliances through independent stores, including three in Louisville, but not in big box stores such as Lowe’s.

West said that the contract does not undercut GEA’s sales because Crosley dealers do not sell GEA-branded products. In fact, he said, manufacturing for Crosley may generate additional parts and service business for the local appliance maker.

Crosley, like GEA, has set a goal of double-digit growth, West said.

GEA will begin shipping Crosley products in September.

Boris Ladwig
Boris Ladwig is a reporter with more than 20 years of experience and has won awards from multiple journalism organizations in Indiana and Kentucky for feature series, news, First Amendment/community affairs, nondeadline news, criminal justice, business and investigative reporting. As part of The (Columbus, Indiana) Republic’s staff, he also won the Kent Cooper award, the top honor given by the Associated Press Managing Editors for the best overall news writing in the state. A graduate of Indiana State University, he is a soccer aficionado (Borussia Dortmund and 1. FC Köln), singer and travel enthusiast who has visited countries on five continents. He speaks fluent German, rudimentary French and bits of Spanish, Italian, Khmer and Mandarin.