Whirlpool, a giant in home appliances, is the owner of the KitchenAid brand. Whirlpool owns 13 manufacturing plants around the world and sells in more than 170 countries. Demand for its products has been ebbing as the U.S. economy stutters; and the company has also been hit, as have many, by the rising cost of raw materials. It therefore turned its attention to the emerging markets.
Two weeks ago, Whirlpool announced that sales in the emerging markets had also been weakening, so it had to cut 5,000 jobs, which is 10% of its workforce in North America and Europe. Its sales in Israel are estimated at about NIS 50 million a year.
Importer Newpan said the KSM150 kitchen mixer model sold in Israel has a motor and power supply that work on 220 volts, which is the European standard, while the U.S. model works on 110 volts.
The products sold in the United States and here were necessarily different, it explained. One could use an American model here with a big converter that costs NIS 700 a pop, it said. Also, Newpan gave a 3-5 year warranty, versus one year in the United States, it said, and anyway, the price of the mixer in European stores is €600.