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Whirlpool closes factory

WHIRLPOOL Corp yesterday announced the closure of its washing machine plant in Shanghai as part of its consolidation plan to optimize the use of existing resources and cut costs amid shrinking profits.

The closure will result in the loss of about 600 positions. The company's other commercial and administrative operations are unaffected by this move, according to a statement on the company's Website. The remaining operations employ about 480 people.

"This consolidation is difficult but necessary," said Paulo F.M.O. Periquito, president of Whirlpool International. ''We believe the move will enable us to speed up innovation and continue to build products at the best quality and best cost for our customers in China."

The production of washing machines will be consolidated into a plant in Zhejiang Province, which Whirlpool runs with Guangdong Province-based Hisense Kelon. The facility, which also produces refrigerators, will create 900 new jobs by the end of the year.

The world's largest appliance maker said it faces a very tough environment this year and plans to cut costs and output capacity. The New York-listed firm has closed five plants globally.


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