Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hoover Vacuum Cleaner Company Sold To Chinese Company

Hoover vaccum cleaners have existed for nearly 100 yeasrs as a classic American product. Now Whirlpool, the current owner of Hoover products has decided to sell the company to a Chinese company located out of Hong Kong for $107 million dollars. Famous formerly American produced products such as Regina, Dirt Devil and Royal will now likely become Chinese made products, and workers who spent a lifetime producing these products in the U.S. will face unemployment and early retirement.

Whirlppol claims that the decision will allow them to "focus" on appliances. Yet for many American workers it is yet another sign of shrinking opportunity in a shrinking base of American manufacturing. Many workers may end up with far lower paying food industry jobs, as is usual when better paying manufacturing jobs disappear to labor cheap nations such as China. Many manufacturing workers in China earn around 42 cents, although a few automobile workers may earn as high as $1.50 an hour.

The Chinese company, Techtronic mainly sells power tools such as the Milwaukie brand and also AEG Power Tools. It gives the Chinese brand wider market share in the U.S. market by being able to continue selling in an established market and chain of retailers for Hoover products. Whirlpool is also seeking to sell the Amana corporation line of products as well. Amana was originally manufactured by a small religious group the Amanas. Like the Shakers who were known for excellent quality furniture, the Amana religious group produced goods that were known for quality. A vending machine compaby has also been recently sold by Whirlpool, as it rids itself of three companies that were acquired in a Whirlpool deal when they acquired Maytag. This is the current trend of American manufacturing capitalism; buying and selling of other companies for a profit rather than a development of new consumer products. Some companies are even known as "turn around" companies that solely exist by investors to buy and sell other companies for a profit and eliminate jobs in cost cutting efforts and resale the business to someone else. Workers often become an end of the line link in this game of corporate chess, thrown out and disposed of when no longer of use to whoever acquires the business assets of a targeted company.


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