Maytag Corp.'s first joint venture in China will include plastic molding operations. The appliance major said Sept. 16 it will invest $70 million in laundry and refrigeration programs with Hefei Rongshida Group Corp. in Hefei, China. Hefei's operations include mold making and plastics molding, said a Maytag spokesman, but he did not know the operation's size.
Maytag will spend half of its investment for an equity stake in three laundry product joint ventures with Hefei. The firm will use the rest of its investment to develop a refrigeration products business jointly with Hefei over several years.
Maytag will own 50.5 percent of the ventures, which might export products in the Pacific Rim.
Tom Schwartz, spokesman for Newton, Iowa-based Maytag, said the company probably will not change its strategy of molding some plastic parts and outsourcing others.
Its Hoover floor care division will spend $47 million to expand at El Paso, Texas, to produce a new line of vacuum cleaners next year. Maytag's Galesburg, Ill., plant is finishing a $180 million expansion that includes a redesign of its refrigeration line. Its Newton facility is developing a horizontal-axis clothes washer and companion dryer.