Gorenje have annouced that production of Asko laundry appliances in Vara, Sweden will next year be moved to Velenge, Slovenia just south of the Austrian border to Gorenje's state of the art facility in the region.
The move comes as part of a restructuring effort that has been ongoing since Gorenje acquired the Asko brand in 2010 after the previous owner, Antonio Merloni, entered into administration.
We have contacted Asko on the matter and have been told that Gorenje intend to move the entire production facility from Vara, including all tooling and lines, to Velenge. We have been assured that all methodologies and quality will be maintained in Asko's new home.
The full press from Gorenje release is as follows:
Board of Directors of Asko, a Gorenje subsidiary, adopted the decision today to shift the entire Asko manufacturing operations from the plant in Vara, Sweden, to Gorenje facilities in Velenje, Slovenia. The shift will be completed in the course of next year. Asko research and development, brand management, and marketing departments will remain in Vara. Thus, approximately 50 out of the current 500 employees will keep their employment at the company Asko. Manufacturing operations in Vara represent approximately 7% of Gorenje Group's overall production output.
Asko board adopted the said decision based on detailed analyses on various possibilities for restructuring of the company, and following the completion of negotiations with representative trade unions regarding these possibilities. Shifting the entire manufacturing operations while keeping the R&D, brand management, and marketing teams was found to be the optimum solution from the economic aspect.
Relocation of production from Vara to Velenje will be carried out in two stages. Washing machine and dryer production will be terminated in Sweden on January 31, 2013, and resumed in Velenje in April; production of dishwashers will be wrapped up in Sweden on June 30, 2013, to be re-launched in Velenje in September.
Gorenje Group acquired the Swedish company Asko in 2010. Despite numerous projects to improve their performance, Asko has seen negative results that consistently fell short of the plans. Furthermore, competition from manufacturers from low-cost countries, as well as from major players who have been increasing the share of their manufacturing operations there, is growing more stringent, adding to the mounting pressure on downstream prices, which also results from excess capacity and bleak economic outlook.
The decision to shift the production from Sweden is a part of the efforts to optimize manufacturing operations, conducted by the Gorenje Group pursuant to the corporate strategic plan for the period 2012 – 2015.