F&P Opens Controversial Thai Factory
The new facility in Rayong will be state-of-the-art, according to Fisher & Paykel, allowing the company to pay less for manufacturing labour while competing with other whitegoods manufacturers in the area.
The company laid-off 350 jobs from the closure of its New Zealand manufacturing plant in August last year, causing speculation that the company needed to take its manufacturing off-shore to lower operating costs.
“Our 650 hardworking builders and management team will be invited to a celebration ‘roof shout’ lunch on-site next Wednesday,” said Fisher & Paykel general manager Thailand, Andrew Paykel.
“The construction team is working around the clock and we aim to produce the first Fisher & Paykel dryer off our new line on March 19, 2008.”
A ‘roof shout’ is a customary celebration in Thailand which congratulates construction workers at the last level of building – the roof.
“The move to Thailand has been necessary to meet an increasingly competitive market,” said Paykel.
“With many of our major competitors now producing throughout Asia we needed to have a strong market presence in the region.
“Rayong offers considerable infrastructure advantages, competitive labour rates and tax break incentives all advantages which are ultimately felt at retail level.”