We hate to say we told them so on the topic of the dryer modification program but… we told them so…
Back a ways we told any media that asked us that, if Whirlpool were to offer replacement dryers carte blanche rather than a repair or modification that stock of replacement would run dry and, there's no fast way to ramp up production to meet the monumental increase in demand.
Therefore were we surprised at the latest glorification of this coming to pass in the Telegraph among others?
Not even a little.
We told everyone this would happen and now that it has and there's low or no stock of replacement dryers it's somehow a shock?!!
The Telegraph reports that the replacement option appears to be under threat as Whirlpool is failing to keep up with demand for replacement tumble dryers. It has confirmed that it is currently sold out of three out of eight of the models it is offering to affected customers.
A spokesman declined to disclose which models were unavailable, how long they had been out of stock, or when they would come become available again.
So here's the thing, you don't just roll up and say, we want to make an additional million or so dryers this year. That stuff is planned way in advance and production capacity is preset for months if not a year or more in advance. Raw materials need bought, components bought in, capacity on the production lines and the capacity of the machines and tooling are all geared to a "normal" volume.
To alter that is a mammoth effort and it takes many, many months.
So much so, people might well be faster to have the dryer that they currently have modified.
It is not ideal and we get that but, we don't live in an ideal world sadly and the resources are what they are. We'd bet Whirlpool are doing all they can to make this go away though as, seriously, this is becoming an embarrassing saga that's costing them vast sums of cash to sort.
That whole buying Indesit deal and all the problems it brought along with it ain't looking too sweet a deal now for Whirlpool we'd think.