Built uniquely for the North American market under the Frigidaire brand, the first batch of Australian-produced ovens were sent on their journey overseen by local politicians including South Australian Premier, Peter Malinauskus and local employees at the Electrolux Adelaide factory.

The extra volume is welcome news for the Adelaide community and local customers, both set to benefit from the first exports in which Electrolux general manager of cooking in Adelaide, Phil Saloniklis, sees enormous long-term potential.

“The US market is where we see our growth. That growth reinforces the presence we have here in Adelaide, 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 to produce,” he said.

Dudley Park, which employs about 400 employees and has its own local R&D group, has a manufacturing history dating back to 1939 and is the last whitegoods manufacturer in Australia.

Peter Malinauskas (South Australian Premier) & Phil Saloniklis (Electrolux) inspecting the first ovens manufactured in Adelaide and destined for the United States. Photo credit: John Goodridge.

“There is immense pride in our local 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,” Saloniklis added.

With a production target of more than 360,000 ovens this year with a goal of producing over 400,000 units by 2025 and 500,000 by 2030, the additional volume brings positive employment prospects. “The additional volume as we hit 400,000 and 500,000 will require us to bring on more staff.”

Peter Malinauskas (South Australian Premier) addressing assembled media flanked by Phil Saloniklis (Electrolux). Photo credit: John Goodridge.

Joining the celebrations on his first visit to Dudley Park was recently appointed Electrolux chief operating officer for Asia Pacific and the Middle East, Kevin Fiske.

“I am so proud of Phil and the team here. The amazing results they continue to achieve at this factory underpin the team’s commitment to quality,” he said.

Sporting the Frigidaire badge, the ovens heading to the US come in two sizes. Initially a small number of 60cm built-in ovens will be shipped and, from early next year, a 90cm freestanding product will also be exported.

Feature image: L to R: Kevin Fiske (Electrolux), Peter Malinauskas (South Australian Premier), Sally Neville (American Chamber of Commerce in Australia), Jodie Van Deventer (AI Group), Andrea Satireyo (City of Port Adelaide Enfield), Nick Champion (Minister for Trade and Investment), and Phil Saloniklis (Electrolux). Photo credit: John Goodridge.