FORT SMITH, Ark. - The Heating & Cooling Division of Rheem Manufacturing Co. purchased a 37-acre commercial development site in Nuevo Laredo, in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico. The Rheem Heating & Cooling and Water Heating Divisions currently have manufacturing operations in Nuevo Laredo.

According to the company, the land purchase provides it with a strategic platform for continued global market expansion. This decision is the latest in a series of strategic business investments designed to put Rheem in the best position to increase market share and aggressively compete with off-shore competition.

Rheem has been realigning and rationalizing manufacturing plant utilization over the last 36 months to optimize competitiveness, including completion of a manufacturing plant expansion in Milledgeville, Ga., and reformatting its Fort Smith plant for improved manufacturing flexibility.

Rheem manufacturing plant rationalization is designed to harmonize its facility operations to ensure that each plant is used most effectively in achieving the company’s strategic growth plan.

The Heating & Cooling Division plans for construction of a manufacturing facility on the Nuevo Laredo site that will join the Fort Smith and Milledgeville plants in a harmonized system of manufacturing facilities capable of supplying products in greater volumes to North American and world markets.

In preparation for a new Nuevo Laredo manufacturing facility, Rheem has contracted with a land-use architectural firm to conduct feasibility studies and provide design assistance for the future plant. Specifics related to plant size, construction timetable, estimated completion, and occupancy, employment, and products to be manufactured in the future facility are yet to be determined.

Rheem will announce future next steps as they are defined. Rheem foresees gradual evolutionary change in normal operations as its plant rationalization plan continues to unfold toward achieving lower cost operations and increased global competitiveness.

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Publication date:08/06/2007