Appliance companies continue geographic shuffle

Reading about the reshuffling of the appliance manufacturing sector reminds me of molecules in quantum physics "uncertainly principle" - you can know where they are or how fast they're moving, but you can't know both at the same time. Werner Heisenberg, founder of the uncertainty principle, just might come in handy today when it comes to tracking appliance makers.

As I looked back over the last eight years at number of articles I've written about this industry, I realized that the shuffling of manufacturing that started with mergers and acquisitions, signaling the consolidation of that industry, was just the first step. As the appliance industry continues to seek out the most optimum places to manufacture, it's looking more like a bad game of chess.

Whirlpool's genealogy reads like a "Who Was" of the appliance industry. Comprising nine brands including Maytag, Jenn-Air, Amana, Kitchenaid and several others, Whirlpool is today the largest appliance maker in the world. I recall when Whirlpool went on its buying spree, particularly in the case of its acquisition of Maytag in 2006, it created quite a disruption among suppliers including many molders and moldmakers.

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