Hotpoint

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Hotpoint
Private subsidiary
Industry Home appliances
Founded 1911 (Ontario, California, U.S.)
Founder Earl Richardson
Headquarters Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK
Area served
Europe
Products Washing machines, dishwashers, fridges, freezers, cookers, tumble dryers
Parent Whirlpool Corporation
Website www.hotpoint-ariston.com

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 America whirlpool which has European rights and the USA's General Electric which has North American rights. In September 2014, General Electric agreed to sell its domestic appliances division including Hotpoint to Merloni of Italy.

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 center. 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.

In 2014, Electrolux agreed to buy General Electric's household appliances business including the Hotpoint brand in North America for £2bn ($3.3bn.) The deal is expected to close in 2015.[3]

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.[citation needed]

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. 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.[4] 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 European-made products. In 2008, the Indesit Company acquired the final quota of shares from General Electric for US$ 57,120,000.[5] From late 2011, Indesit rolled out the Hotpoint brand name across Europe - replacing the Ariston & Hotpoint-Ariston names.

In 2014, 56% of Indesit was purchased by the Whirlpool Corporation, and continues using the Hotpoint-Ariston brand name.[6]

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 UK. The headquarters was in Woodston, Peterborough with about 1,500 people based there making refrigerators and freezers. The refrigerators plant closed in 2008.[7]

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.[8] Their refrigeration products, formerly manufactured at the Peterborough factory now are made in Poland.[9] 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.[10] Closure of the manufacturing facilities at Peterborough followed in late 2008.[7] On 31 July 2009, Indesit closed its plant at Kinmel Park, Bodelwyddan Denbighshire, Wales, UK. The factory employed 305 workers.[11] The company blamed "continuing decline" in the market.[12] The company had a site in Llandudno Junction near Conwy which is now the north Wales base of the Welsh Assembly.[13]

USA[edit]

In the USA, Hotpoint branded products are made by GE Consumer & Industrial (to become part of Electrolux) at Louisville, Kentucky.

Marketing[edit]

In 2002 it had a 23% share of the white goods market in the UK.[4]

The Holby City actress Lisa Faulkner starred in their 2010 Campaign for Cooking Confidence.[14] 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.

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 TV comedy series during the next two decades.

See also[edit]

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. ^ a b "Merloni Elettrodomestici completes GDA (Hotpoint) acquisition". Indesit Company. 8 March 2002. Retrieved 9 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "Indesit Company acquires final GDA (Hotpoint) quota from General Electric". Indesit Company. 23 December 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2008. 
  6. ^ "Whirlpool Completes Purchase of Majority Interest in Indesit". Whirlpool Corporation. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "A dark day for staff at the Hotpoint factory". Peterborough Evening Telegraph. 27 November 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2008. 
  8. ^ "Fears grow over Indesit factory in Wales". ERT Online. 12 February 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  9. ^ "Indesit lays off 400 and moves production to Poland". Evertiq. 21 May 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  10. ^ "Hundreds of cooker firm jobs lost". BBC News. 7 August 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  11. ^ "Indesit job losses 'major blow'". BBC News. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  12. ^ "305 jobs to go at Indesit factory". BBC News. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  13. ^ "Final day for 302 Indesit workers". BBC News. 30 July 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  14. ^ "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]