GE to Close Lighting Plants
LOUISVILLE, Ky., Oct. 11, 2007 -- GE Consumer & Industrial announced it intends to restructure its lighting business, affecting approximately 1400 employees at plants in the US, Mexico and Brazil, in a bid to become more competitive globally.
Under the plan, GE Consumer & Industrial, a Louisville-based unit that operates under the GE Industrial business, will close all of its lighting operations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which employ about 900. The unit will also close some lighting operations in the US and transfer some of those approximately 425 jobs to other GE Lighting facilities in the US. It will also move some operations at facilities in Mexico and the US to other GE locations or suppliers, impacting another 80 positions, the company said.
"The time to refocus and realign our lighting business is now. The restructuring we are proposing, while very difficult due to the impact on employees, would be one of the most important things we've done in the 100-plus-year history of GE's lighting business," said Jim Campbell, president & CEO of GE Consumer & Industrial. "We are proposing these actions in order to continue our leadership in an industry that is in the midst of significant change. Global market demand for the most common household lighting product -- the incandescent bulb -- has dramatically declined over the past five years, and is accelerating due to new efficiency standards and technology advancements."
The proposal continues a plan GE Consumer & Industrial began last year to close facilities, transfer jobs, reduce its work force and sell operations at its sites in Europe, China, Indonesia, the US, Latin America and India. Those measures have affected more than 3000 positions, the company said.
"Our historical model of making most of the components we need for our lighting products ourselves is no longer effective in today's global economy. In many cases, we can now purchase the components we need at a more competitive cost than we can make them. It doesn't make sense for us to continue with an inefficient model. The proposed plan would allow us to continue to reinvent our production model to use our global factory more efficiently and effectively," Campbell said.
He said the company has invested more than $200 million in the last four years on developing and producing energy-efficient lighting such as LEDs, organic LEDs (OLEDS) and high-efficiency incandescent light bulbs.
The company said it will discuss the plan with employees before making a final decision.
For more information, visit: www.ge.com
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