Adelaide-based Electrolux Home Products has started shipping ovens to the US in a major company milestone celebrated today.
Premier of South Australia Peter Malinauskus MP and Ai Group Head of Adelaide Jodie van Deventer joined senior members of the white goods manufacturer in launching the export program.
“This is the first time the Electrolux Dudley Park facility has exported into the US market and represents a major milestone for local operations,” Electrolux Home Products General Manager Phillip Saloniklis (pictured, far right) said.
“This is a real game changer for us as the size of that market is 14 times greater than that of Australia and presents a real opportunity for us to further build on what we have been able to do here at Dudley Park.
“The US market has more than 350 million people and provides the volume opportunity for growth the business is looking for.”
Dudley Park, which employs about 400 employees and has its own local R&D group, is the last of the white goods manufacturers in this country.
While 95 per cent of its total production is destined for the Australian & New Zealand markets, it also manufactures a large range of ovens for the Africa, Middle East and Asian markets.
Popular brands such as AEG, Electrolux, Westinghouse, Chef and Frigidaire all fall under the Electrolux umbrella.
Sporting the Frigidaire badge, the ovens heading to the US come in two sizes: first off the rank is a 600mm (24”) built-in product and from early next year, a 900mm (36”) freestanding product will also be exported.
They will offer US home chefs features not currently available in that range such as air fry and steam bake.
“The products we are supplying are high-end, high-niche and low volume, so it’s much cheaper for us to make the ovens here in Australia and freight them to the US,” Mr Saloniklis said.
“It's a bit like Ferraris. You don't set up factories for Ferraris all around the world because you only sell 20 or 30 in each country. You make them in Italy and send them out. In our case, we are initially expecting to sell between 20,000-40,000 units of these ovens, with the opportunity to grow this volume."
A 600mm built-in product is also destined for the Canadian market.
The extra volume is excellent news for the Adelaide plant.
“The US market is where we see our growth,” Mr Saloniklis said.
“That growth reinforces the presence we have here, and it also benefits the Australian market because the more volume, the more our fixed costs get spread, which makes own local product even cheaper.”
On target to produce more than 360,000 ovens this year with a goal of producing more than 400,000 units by 2025 and more than 500,00 by 2030, Electrolux continues to be a large employer within the Adelaide community.
“The additional volume as we hit 400,000 and 500,000 will require us to bring on more staff,” Mr Saloniklis said.
“There is immense pride among employees and within the community to know they are manufacturing products that are being exported around the world.
“It’s a real recognition of the quality coming out of Australia and a real boost for the brand.”
Picture: (L-R) Kevin Fiske, Chief Operations Officer, Electrolux Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa; SA Premier Peter Malinauskas; Sally Neville, General Manager, AmCham South Australia; Ai Group Head of Adelaide Jodie van Deventer; Andrea Satireyo, Team Leader, City of Port Adelaide Enfield; Minister for Trade and Investment Nick Champion and Phillip Saloniklis, General Manager, Electrolux.
Electrolux has been a member of Ai Group since 1962
Ai Group has provided Electrolux with great support during a period of instability, whether that be Covid or recent resourcing concerns, as well as industrial relations guidance. Our membership has also given us a chair at the table with decision and policymakers which allows our business concerns to be heard. – Phil Saloniklis, General Manager, Electrolux Home Products
Wendy Larter is Communications Manager at the Australian Industry Group. She has more than 20 years’ experience as a reporter, features writer, contributor and sub-editor for newspapers and magazines including The Courier-Mail in Brisbane and Metro, the News of the World, The Times and Elle in the UK.