HAVANT, ENGLAND—British kitchen equipment manufacturer Kenwood Appliances plc has gone a step further down the path to sourcing its production entirely in the Far East.
The Havant-based company, already in the process of outsourcing all plastics molded appliance parts, now has announced it will close its United Kingdom production plant altogether, trimming 260 jobs.
Kenwood, which makes appliances including food processors, fryers, kettles and toasters, will relocate all British production, with the exception of its flagship Kenwood Chef processor and water filters, to China.
The company has been mauled by fierce European competition and the continuing strength of the pound sterling.
Kenwood is preparing to outsource plastics components for the remaining English-built equipment from local custom injection molders, according to operations director Andrew Hill. With the plant closure, Kenwood will relocate remaining local production to a smaller, leased plant nearby.
``With three quarters of our sales overseas, U.K. manufacturing is no longer a competitive option for us on most of our product lines,'' said Chief Executive Officer Colin Gordon.
In February, Kenwood announced it had agreed to sell its plastic molding capacity at Havant to Hong Kong-registered electrical appliance manufacturer Allan International Holdings Ltd. for US$3.6 million in cash. Allan will move the 40 injection presses to its production complex in China's Guang Dong province.
Under the agreement with Allan, which will operate 100 injection presses ranging from 100-1,200 tons after the transfer, the Chinese plant will manufacture a number of Kenwood's products with a four-year supply deal.