By Matthew Henry

AUKLAND: Fisher & Paykel today announced it will construct a new DishDrawer dishwasher plant in North America in response to continued sales growth in the region.

The initial startup cost of the facility is anticipated to be $15 million, but the company claims it will improve its efficiency in servicing the North America through a local manufacturing presence.

Fisher & Paykel has not yet confirmed a location for the manufacturing facility but expects construction to be completed by late 2008 with the first DishDrawers to roll off the production line in early 2009.

The new factory will feed the company’s growing USA appliances business and due to closer proximity, Fisher & Paykel expects lower operating costs will justify the $15 million capital investment.

“Our supply philosophy is to have small, efficient manufacturing plants in, or close to, the markets we participate in,” said Fisher & Paykel CEO and managing director, John Bongard.

“This facility will supply our North American markets in a timely fashion, whilst at the same time reducing freight and working capital costs. The USA is our largest DishDrawer market, and with continuing growth expected in this category, it makes sense to have a production facility close to that market.”

Australia, New Zealand, Europe and other markets will continue to source stock from the DishDrawer factory in Dunedin, New Zealand, which the company says will continue to operate.