|Founded||Schenectady, New York (1905 )
Louisville, Kentucky (incorporated January 2004 )
|Headquarters||Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.|
|Kevin Nolan, CEO|
Number of employees
|12,000 (2013 est.)|
GE Appliances, formerly known as GE Appliances & Lighting and GE Consumer & Industrial, along with GE Appliances, when owned by General Electric (GE), is an appliance company headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky and owned by Haier Group. It is one of the largest appliance brands in the United States. The company encompasses the appliance brands of GE, Profile, Cafe, Monogram, and Hotpoint. GE Appliances includes wholly owned subsidiary FirstBuild, a global co-creation community and state-of-the-art microfactory located in Louisville, Kentucky.
GE Appliances became a brand of Chinese conglomerate Haier on June 6, 2016.
Originally part of the General Electric corporation, GE Appliances was created as a stand-alone business. In January 2004, it became part of GE Consumer & Industrial when GE Consumer Products (founded in 1905) merged with GE Industrial Systems (founded in 1930) to form GE Consumer & Industrial. From 2010 to late 2014, GE Appliances & Lighting was a sub-business under GE Home & Business Solutions.
On September 8, 2014, General Electric agreed to sell GE Appliances & Lighting to the Swedish appliance manufacturer Electrolux for US$3.3 billion in cash. The Electrolux acquisition was the result of General Electric's nearly six-year-long plan to sell the Appliance & Lighting division that included negotiations with Electrolux and other firms, such as Samsung and LG. The deal will combine Electrolux's existing primary U.S. mainstream appliance brand, Frigidaire, with GE's stable of products, including the Monogram line of luxury appliances. As part of the deal, Electrolux agreed to continue using the G.E. Appliances brand names, such as the mainstream "GE" appliance marque, for a limited period, and also agreed to assume General Electric's 48.4% stake in Mabe, a Mexican appliance manufacturer.
The transaction -- the largest ever for Electrolux, the second-largest consumer appliance manufacturer after Whirlpool -- would have nearly doubled Electrolux's business in North America (the market that represented nearly 29% of Electrolux's revenue in 2013). The deal carried a US$175 million termination fee clause if Electrolux was unable to complete the acquisition. It was terminated in December 2015 due to regulatory concerns.
In 1951 construction began in Louisville, Kentucky on Appliance Park, the 1,000-acre (400 ha) manufacturing facility that would eventually employ 25,000 full-time employees. At the start of the park, Appliance Park was a self-sufficient city that provided for its own needs, right down to mail handling (until recently, Appliance Park had its own post office, staffed by United States Postal Service employees, to handle the complex's high volume of mail). In fact, Appliance Park was such a large and self-sustaining facility that the Postal Service granted Appliance Park its own ZIP code, 40225.
The remaining buildings at the Appliance Park are Production Support Operations (PSO), often called the "Back 40".
GE utilized its own landfill on approximately 20 acres (8.1 ha) from 1953 to the mid-1980s, when the EPA started enforcing stricter policies for big companies and mandated that GE close Appliance Park's landfill.
In order to decrease operational expenses at Appliance Park, a recycling initiative was introduced in 2006. In addition to cutting costs, this initiative aims to make the site more environmentally friendly. Major waste streams include cardboard, wooden pallets, metals, electronics, and plastics. Waste office paper will be recycled through the Metro Louisville's "Office Paper Recycling Program". Proceeds will benefit BrightSide, a city beautification campaign initiated by former Metro Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson.
The Security Force, operated from Appliance Park's Building 28, patrols the park for safety hazards and consists of a 21-member, Kentucky state-certified EMT team providing basic, on-site emergency medical services that services Appliance Park and its employees year-round.
A "mammoth" fire occurred on the morning of April 3, 2015 at the Appliance Park. Building 6 (AP6) partially collapsed and was predicted to be a total loss. The 6-acre (24,000 m2) building, located at 4000 Buechel Bank Road, was mostly being used for storage, with portions leased to GE suppliers and logistics partners. More than 200 firefighters from 18 local agencies were involved in fighting the eight-alarm fire, which led to a production halt and evacuation of the other buildings in the complex. No injuries or fatalities were reported, but "shelter in place" orders were issued for homes and businesses within a 2-mile (3.2 km) radius (later reduced to a one-half mile radius) of the Appliance Park due to noxious and acrid smoke. No hazardous materials were known to be stored at the site. Because of the huge volume of smoke, gases and runoff from burning plastics and other materials the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection and USEPA were called in to monitor emissions from the fire and found they were not toxic. However, area residents reported leaf-size pieces of ash and burned insulation materials in their yards. The cause of the fire remained unclear; a local fire chief said that investigators were leaning toward a lightning strike as the probable cause.
The fire was contained, but not extinguished, by the early afternoon of April 3. A statement issued by GE later that day indicated that production at the complex would remain halted over the weekend and at least through the end of the following week as the company conducted "a thorough evaluation of all other buildings" and replenished inventories of parts destroyed by the fire. The shelter-in-place order was canceled for residents within one-half mile of the site the following Sunday, April 5.