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Electrolux begins exporting the Ferrari of ovens to the US

Manufacturing News

The Electrolux Home Products factory in Adelaide’s Dudley Park held an event on Thursday attended by premier Peter Malinauskas and others to celebrate the commencement of exports to the United States.

The plant – which was opened in 1939 and has had $30 million invested in it in the last three years – employs about 400 and is Australia’s last whitegoods manufacturer.

(A site visit and interview with Home Products General Manager Phillip Saloniklis for @AuManufacturing’s Leadership in Factory Automation series from December is available here.)

Selling into the US was a major milestone for Electrolux’s local operations, said Saloniklis, in comments reported in an article at the Australian Industry Group’s website.

“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,” he said..

Volumes are on track to reach 360,000 ovens at the site this year, and 400,000 a year by 2025. 95 per cent of what’s made is for Australian and New Zealand customers, though a range of ovens for Africa, Middle East and Asian markets is also produced. The US market was where the company would see growth, said Salonikis.

“This is an exciting day for the South Australia’s Electrolux operations, which has grown from strength to strength, and manufacturing in our State,” tweeted the premier of the news.

The Frigidaire ovens for the American market are a 600-millimetre built-in product, with exports of a 900-millimetre freestanding product to follow in early-2023 exported. 

These would offer air fry, steam bake and other special features, with Salonikis describing the ovens as “high-end, high-niche and low volume” and therefore cheaper to make here and freight to the US.

“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,” he said. 

“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.”

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Picture: Peter Malinauskas/Linkedin


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