Hotpoint

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Hotpoint
Type Private subsidiary
Industry Home appliances
Founded 1911 (Ontario, California)
Founder(s) Earl Richardson
Headquarters Peterborough, United Kingdom
Area served Europe
Products Washing machines, dishwashers, fridges, freezers, cookers, tumble dryers
Parent Indesit
Website www.hotpoint-ariston.com

The Hotpoint Electric Heating Company (generally known simply as Hotpoint) is a British brand of domestic appliances, formerly part of GEC. The brand is currently fully owned by Italy's Indesit, but most UK manufacture has now ceased.

There is also a Hotpoint brand in North America owned by General Electric, which manufactures similar appliances but is now unrelated to Hotpoint in Europe. From 1989 to 2008, Hotpoint in the UK was 50% owned by GE of the USA.

History[edit]

Formation in California[edit]

Hotpoint was founded in 1911. The name of the company comes from the hot point of the revolutionary first electric iron of 1905, invented by the American (Wisconsin) Earl Richardson (1871–1934) having formed his Pacific Electric Heating Company at Ontario, California in 1906.[1][2] It was known as the Hotpoint iron, with its hottest point at the front and not the centre. In 1912 the company began making electric irons, and electric cookers in 1919 in the USA. Earl Richardson also invented the first iron that switched off automatically when a maximum temperature was reached.

Hotpoint sign in Great Barrington, MA

It is claimed to have developed one of the earliest electric toasters in 1908, known as the El Tosto, and later, under GE, the Hotpoint brand name became one of the most popular brands of toaster in the USA in the 1920s and 1930s. Richardson founded his own settlement, Adelanto, California, in 1915.

In 1918, the company, known as the Hotpoint Electric Heating Company from 1912, merged with the Heating Device Section of General Electric, becoming the Edison Electric Appliance Company, and later, just a division of GE in 1927, when it bought the factory and entire company. It became known as the Edison General Electric Company in 1931.

UK market[edit]

In 1920 it established a joint venture with US competitor General Electric, forming the Hotpoint Electric Appliance Company Limited (HEAC) to market GE (USA) branded goods in the UK. HEAC was already an American company.

It was famous for its all-white products, and hence the generic product name white goods.

GEC[edit]

In 1929, HEAC joined the Associated Electrical Industries (AEI) group and became a part of The General Electric Company or GEC group (not to be confused with General Electric) in 1967. By the 1960s it was the UK market leader, followed by Sweden's Electrolux.

Hotpoint continued as a subsidiary of GEC until 1989, when it was merged into a new division of GEC called General Domestic Appliances (GDA), 50% of which was purchased by General Electric (USA), with whom it owned the joint venture. Around the same time Whirlpool Corporation (since 2006 the largest maker of white goods in the world) of the USA took a 53% stake in a joint venture with the white goods division of Holland's Philips, later buying it outright in 1991. In 1998, the Redring and Xpelair brands also joined GDA, and Hotpoint was categorised as part of GDA Applied Energy.

Indesit[edit]

GEC was eventually transformed into Marconi plc, from which Indesit (then called Merloni Elettrodomestici) bought 50% of GDA (Hotpoint and Creda) on 21 December 2001 for £121m. At this point, Hotpoint employed around 7,000 people at its four UK sites, three of which have subsequently closed. Indesit UK has been based at Peterborough since 1 June 2003. At the beginning of 2007, Indesit completely took over Hotpoint and merged it into its own historic brand Ariston, creating a single entity known as Hotpoint-Ariston, Hotpoint now existing as a branding on imported products . In 2008, the Indesit Company acquired the final quota of shares from General Electric for US$ 57,120,000.[3] From late 2011, Indesit rolled out the Hotpoint brand name across Europe - replacing the Ariston & Hotpoint-Ariston names.

Products[edit]

Hotpoint was formed in 1911 in California (moving to Britain in 1920), and it is well known for its refrigerators and washing machines. The company, including Creda and Indesit, produces the largest amount of kitchen appliances in the UK. The headquarters was in Woodston, Peterborough with about 1,500 people based there making fridges and freezers. The fridge plant closed in 2008.[4]

Hotpoint is the market leader for domestic appliances in the UK,[citation needed] and was for many years (until 2001) the only British-owned manufacturer of white goods.

Manufacturing sites[edit]

The former Hotpoint plant in Yate that makes tumble dryers, is now the only UK plant still in production. Most machines are now made in Italy as opposed to the UK. Hotpoint washing machines were formerly manufactured at a plant in Bodelwyddan, in Denbighshire, North Wales, UK. The site made around 800,000 washing machines in 2007 with about 1,000 employees. Their refrigeration products, formerly manufactured at the Perterborough factory now are made in Turkey. It has a distribution centre at Raunds.

Site closures[edit]

Indesit UK's (former GDA) Creda plant in Blythe Bridge, Stoke-on-Trent closed in December 2007 and the closure of the manufacturing facilities at Peterborough followed in late 2008. The company had a site in Llandudno Junction near Conwy which is now the north Wales base of the Welsh Assembly.

USA[edit]

In the USA, Hotpoint branded products are made by GE Consumer & Industrial at Louisville, Kentucky.

Marketing[edit]

The Holby City actress Lisa Faulkner starred in their 2010 Campaign for Cooking Confidence. In 2009 it worked with Kelly Hoppen to produce its interior design Hot Style campaign. The company has also worked in conjunction with the P&G detergent brand Ariel. It currently recommends Excel Gel. Before 2000, Hotpoint recommended Persil Automatic & Comfort Fabric softener. In the past it has also advertised Bounce Tumble dryer sheets.

In 2002 it had a 23% share of the white goods market in the UK.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

Indesit Company

References[edit]

  1. ^ Earl Richardson
  2. ^ First Hotpoint iron
  3. ^ Indesit Company News page Shares gathered from GE (retrieved 26 December 2008
  4. ^ Peterborough Evening Telegraph Hotpoint Factory closes

External links[edit]

News items[edit]

Video clips[edit]