Business
3:40 pm
Wed March 9, 2011

Whirlpool CEO: US is the place to invest

The head of Michigan-based Whirlpool says the United States is a smart place for the appliance giant to invest.

The company announced last year that it planned to sink $1 billion into its United States operations over the next four years. CEO Jeff Fettig says since then, he’s fielded lots of questions about why and how the company planned to do that.

The U.S. is the best place for Whirlpool to get a return on its investment, Fettig told the Detroit Economic Club today. He says a lot of manufacturers look at the lowest-cost places to put factories, but not Whirlpool.

"We don’t spend a lot of time thinking about that. We talk about best cost, and by best cost I mean, we want the best-cost location for manufacturing for the products we make for the markets we serve."

Fettig says productivity, logistics, and quality are all things the U.S. offers.

Whirlpool does not have any factories in Michigan. But Fettig says he expects the company will add research-and-development and other “knowledge” jobs to its Benton Harbor headquarters in the next few years.