Keith McLoughlin, CEO of Electrolux, said earlier this week that he expects GE's iconic Appliance Park in Louisville, Kentucky, to be an "integral part of [Electrolux's] global footprint going forward."
Electrolux, a Swedish company, is in the process of acquiring GE's appliance manufacturing business, including the famous Appliance Park complex, which has been the center of GE's appliance manufacturing and R&D since 1951 and is large enough to have its own ZIP code. More than 6,000 employees work at Appliance Park today, but how many of those jobs will remain in Louisville is uncertain.
Speaking to more than 2,000 Louisville businesspeople at Greater Louisville Inc.'s annual meeting, McLoughlin explained that the future of both companies depends on the outcome of the regulatory approval process:
"There's lots of specifics that I actually don't know yet, we don't know what we can keep and what we can't keep. We know that what's in Louisville, what's in GE Appliances, is a significant competitive advantage for us in terms of R&D, in terms of manufacturing, in terms of distribution and brand."
McLoughlin noted that Electrolux's North American headquarters will remain in Charlotte, North Carolina. What this implies for more than 2,000 white-collar appliance business jobs in Louisville is also unclear.
"We may wind up learning more from GE than GE learns from us, and that's okay with me," McLoughlin went on to say. "It's a very strong, well-run, capable business that adds significant value to us instantaneously."
Electrolux's acquisition of GE's appliance division is expected to earn regulatory approval this summer.