Hotpoint

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Hotpoint
Private subsidiary
Industry Home appliances
Founded 1911; 107 years ago (1911) in Ontario, California, United States
Founder Earl Richardson
Headquarters Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
Area served
Europe
Products Washing machines, Dishwashers, Refrigerators, Freezers, Cookers, Tumble dryers
Parent Haier, Whirlpool Corporation
Website www.hotpoint.eu

The Hotpoint Electric Heating Company (generally known simply as Hotpoint) is an American and European brand of domestic appliances. Ownership of the brand is split between the American company Whirlpool, which has European rights, and Chinese company Haier, which has North American rights since its purchase of GE Appliances.

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 in Ontario, California, in 1906.[1][2] It was known as the Hotpoint iron, with its hottest point at the front and not the center. In 1912, the company began making electric irons, and electric cookers in 1919 in the United States. Earl Richardson also invented the first iron that switched off automatically when a maximum temperature was reached.

Hotpoint sign in Great Barrington, Massachusetts

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 United States 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.

Most Hotpoint production moved to GE's mammoth Appliance Park manufacturing complex in Louisville, KY in the beginning of the 1950s. To this day, many Hotpoint appliances are made at Louisville, the largest appliance plant in the world.

In September 2014, Electrolux agreed to buy General Electric's household appliances business including the Hotpoint brand in North America for £2bn ($3.3bn). The deal was expected to close in 2015.[3] Due to blockage by U.S. regulators, the Electrolux deal was terminated, and GE subsequently sold its appliance division to Haier of China, to close in 2016.[4]

United Kingdom[edit]

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

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 market leader in the United Kingdom, 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. In 1998, the Redring and Xpelair brands also joined GDA, and Hotpoint was categorized 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.[5] At this point, Hotpoint employed around 7,000 people at its four sites in the United Kingdom, 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 European made products.

In December 2008, the Indesit Company acquired the final quota of shares from General Electric for US$57,120,000.[6] From the end of 2011, Indesit rolled out the Hotpoint brand name across Europe, replacing the names Ariston and Hotpoint Ariston. In October 2014, 56% of Indesit was purchased by the Whirlpool Corporation, and continues using the Hotpoint-Ariston brand name.[7]

Products[edit]

Hotpoint was formed in 1911 in California and entered the British market in 1920. It is well known for its refrigerators and washing machines. The company, including sister brands Creda and Indesit, at one time produced the largest amount of kitchen appliances in the United Kingdom. The headquarters was in Woodston, Peterborough with about 1,500 people based there making refrigerators and freezers. The refrigerators plant closed in 2008.[8]

Grenfell Tower fire[edit]

In June 2017, a Hotpoint FF175BP fridge freezer was found to have triggered the Grenfell Tower fire in London that killed 79 people.[9][10] A total of 64,000 units of the same model were manufactured between 2006 and 2009 by Indesit under the Hotpoint brand before moving over to Whirlpool.[11]

Customers who believed they own either the FF175BP or the FF175BG models have been advised to contact the company for further safety checks. According to the Hotpoint website: “We have been made aware that the recent fire at Grenfell Tower in West London may have originated in a Hotpoint branded fridge freezer, manufactured between March 2006 and July 2009, model numbers FF175BP (white) and FF175BG (graphite)".[12][13][9]

Manufacturing sites[edit]

The former Hotpoint plant in Yate that makes tumble dryers, is now the only plant in the United Kingdom still in production. Most machines are now made in Italy and Poland as opposed to the United Kingdom. Hotpoint washing machines were formerly manufactured at a plant in Bodelwyddan, in Denbighshire, North Wales, United Kingdom. The site made around 800,000 washing machines in 2007, with about 1,000 employees.[14]

Their refrigeration products, formerly manufactured at the Peterborough factory now are made in Poland.[15] 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.[16] Closure of the manufacturing facilities at Peterborough followed in the end of 2008.[8] On 31 July 2009, Indesit closed its plant at Kinmel Park, Bodelwyddan Denbighshire, Wales, United Kingdom.

The factory employed 305 workers.[17] The company blamed "continuing decline" in the market.[18] The company had a site in Llandudno Junction near Conwy which is now the north Wales base of the Welsh Assembly.[19]

United States[edit]

In the United States, Hotpoint branded products are made by GE Consumer & Industrial (appliance business to be acquired by Haier in 2016) at Louisville, Kentucky.

Marketing[edit]

In 2002, it had a 23% share of the white goods market in the United Kingdom.[5] The Holby City actress Lisa Faulkner starred in their 2010 Campaign for Cooking Confidence.[20]

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 2004, Hotpoint recommended Persil Automatic & Comfort Fabric softener. In the past it has also advertised Bounce Tumble dryer sheets.

Actress Mary Tyler Moore appeared in a series of 1950s television commercials for the company as a character called "Happy Hotpoint", prior to her fame in television comedy series during the next two decades.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Earl H. Richardson". Harvard Business School. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  2. ^ "First Hotpoint iron" (PDF). Streamlined Irons. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "Electrolux buys General Electric's appliances unit for $3.3bn". BBC News. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Haier Buying GE Appliance Unit". USA Today. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Merloni Elettrodomestici completes GDA (Hotpoint) acquisition". Indesit Company. 8 March 2002. Retrieved 9 December 2015. 
  6. ^ "Indesit Company acquires final GDA (Hotpoint) quota from General Electric". Indesit Company. 23 December 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2008. 
  7. ^ "Whirlpool Completes Purchase of Majority Interest in Indesit". Whirlpool Corporation. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "A dark day for staff at the Hotpoint factory". Peterborough Evening Telegraph. 27 November 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2008. 
  9. ^ a b Monaghan, Angela (23 June 2017). "Hotpoint tells customers to check fridge-freezers after Grenfell Tower fire". the Guardian. 
  10. ^ "Grenfell Tower fire began in fridge-freezer". 23 June 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk. 
  11. ^ "Hotpoint CHAOS: Firm behind Grenfell Tower fire in SECOND scandal". 23 June 2017. 
  12. ^ "Landlords urged to check white goods - RLA Campaigns and News Centre". 27 June 2017. 
  13. ^ Monaghan, Angela (27 June 2017). "Grenfell Tower fire: MP says public must be told to stop using Hotpoint model". the Guardian. 
  14. ^ "Fears grow over Indesit factory in Wales". ERT Online. 12 February 2009. Archived from the original on 2 December 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  15. ^ "Indesit lays off 400 and moves production to Poland". Evertiq. 21 May 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  16. ^ "Hundreds of cooker firm jobs lost". BBC News. 7 August 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  17. ^ "Indesit job losses 'major blow'". BBC News. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  18. ^ "305 jobs to go at Indesit factory". BBC News. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  19. ^ "Final day for 302 Indesit workers". BBC News. 30 July 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  20. ^ "Hotpoint campaign for Cooking Confidence with Lisa Faulkner". Hotpoint. 5 November 2010. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 

External links[edit]

News items[edit]

Video clips[edit]