LG begins construction of U.S. home appliance manufacturing plant

lg home appliance us electronics usa rendering
Rendering of the LG Home Appliance Factory in Clarksville, Tenn. opening in 2018. LG Electronics USA

They’re digging in the dirt in Tennessee — and building machines to wash those clothes later on. But will the business climate soil the deal?

On August 24, LG Electronics broke ground on a planned $250 million washing machine manufacturing facility in Clarksville, Tennessee, an hour north of storied Nashville. The company says it will be the world’s most advanced production plant for such machines; LG aims for an opening as early as the fourth quarter of 2018, and says the plant will be able to make new front- and top-loading washers every 10 seconds.

“We are proud to make further investments in America, to create even more U.S. jobs, and to bring state-of-the-art home appliance production technology to the great state of Tennessee,” said Dan Song, president of the LG Home Appliance and Air Solutions Company. “We couldn’t have selected a better location for our state-of-the-art facility. Today’s groundbreaking in Clarksville brings us another step closer to producing premium LG washing machines in the United States.”

The plant will cover 829,000 square feet of Montgomery County, and it is expected to bring at least 600 full-time jobs to the area. LG was joined at the groundbreaking ceremony by Wilbur Ross, Secretary of the Department of Commerce, who gushed about the promise of manufacturing on U.S. shores.

“The fact that one of the world’s most innovative and successful home appliance companies is establishing its largest U.S. home appliance operation here in Tennessee is a testament to the strength of our country’s business climate,” he said, according to a press release announcing the ceremony.

“We’ve got to do whatever we can to make sure that LG can open their facility and hire people.”

Building machines in the U.S. rather than abroad in Mexico or Vietnam seems to make sense: such plants would rely on local parts and labor, bringing jobs to the region and fostering the economy. Appliances that don’t travel as far to reach store shelves may also carry lower price tags — some of the many reasons competitors such as Samsung are also opening plants in the U.S.

But U.S. trade policy may impact the equation. The Trump administration has imposed stiff tariffs on imported washing machines, at the behest of U.S. appliance giant Whirlpool, and some worry that raising the cost on imported LG machines may impact the company’s willingness to continue investing in the Tennessee plant.

“We’ve got to do whatever we can to make sure that LG is able to still open their facility and hire people,” Kim McMillan, the mayor of Clarksville, told Reuters. “We don’t want to see a repeat of what happened with Hemlock where they can’t open the plant.” In 2014, Hemlock Semiconductors abandoned plans for a $1.2 billion plant in the region over concerns with U.S.-China trade conditions.

As construction proceeds, the tariffs are having an impact: LG anticipates the cost of machines to go up. “As a result of the trade situation, we will be initiating pricing actions, which will be sent under separate cover shortly,” LG executive Thomas Yoon said in a memo obtained by CNNMoney.

In other words, now’s the time to buy that new washer of your dreams — before costs out it out of reach.


LG’s SnowWhite is a Keurig for lovers of homemade ice cream

LG's SnowWhite conceptual countertop appliance, on display at this year's South by Southwest, is like a Keurig machine for ice cream lovers that produces your favorite frozen desserts from nothing but a little pod.
Smart Home

Is your coffee maker hiding mold inside? Here's how to clean it

Are you a coffee drinker? If you brew your coffee at home and you don't clean your machine, you could be drinking mold, yeast, and other bacteria. Here's how to clean your coffee maker.

Here are the best Chromebook deals available in March 2019

Whether you want a compact laptop to enjoy some entertainment on the go, or you need a no-nonsense machine for school or work, we've smoked out the best cheap Chromebook deals -- from full-sized laptops to 2-in-1 convertibles -- that won't…
Smart Home

Update your kitchen with the best refrigerators you can buy in 2019

There are tons of factors that go into buying a fridge, from size and capacity to color. It takes lots of testing and research, but we've chosen the best refrigerators to get you started, regardless of what you're looking for.

Suck up the savings with these vacuum cleaners on sale for $100 or less

Keeping your floors clean around the home is a constant chore. To help make things a whole lot easier, we've picked out some great vacuum cleaner deals available right now, from full-sized upright models to robot vacs.

Walmart drops prices on Google Home Hub and Lenovo smart displays

Walmart slashed the prices of Google Home smart displays for two highly regarded Lenovo models and the original Google Home Hub. We can't think of a better way to improve your smart home setup and these deals can help you save up to $100.

Amazon lowers Echo Dot cost and slashes price of the Dot and Smart Plug bundle

Amazon just unleashed extraordinary price cuts on third-generation Echo Dot smart speakers. The Alexa device is back in stock following the blowout sales last holiday season. The Echo Dot is the best-selling Alexa smart speaker worldwide.
Smart Home

These best outdoor security cameras will keep porch pirates at bay

Worried about porch pirates stealing your packages, or intruders entering your home? Always be in the know about who or what is on your property by installing one of these outdoor security cameras.
Smart Home

Your Instant Pot can do it all. Research says it has another important function

Researchers at Dakota State University tested a variety of pressure cookers for sterilization and found that Instant Pot provides enough pressure and heat to kill off food-spoiling bacteria.
Smart Home

Need some help? Here's our handy step-by-step guide on how to Airbnb your home

Getting ready to make your home a great rental? Here's how to Airbnb your home with the right amenities, insurance, supplies, and everthing else that you need. Use this guide to get started without making beginner mistakes!

Dyson sale shatters prices on vacuums just in time for spring cleaning

Steep price cuts on Dyson vacuum cleaners for the spring cleaning season help you save money on the tools you need to do the job. We've found the best discounts on Dyson vacuums from Amazon and Walmart and put them all in one place.

Amazon slashes prices on Echo devices that play Alexa’s sweetest-sounding music

Amazon slashed prices on Alexa-controlled Echo devices with the best music sound quality. All Alexa smart speakers stream music, but some sound better than others. Save on Echo Plus and the Echo Sub bundled with Echo and Echo Plus speakers.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Product Review

Simple and small, the Google Home Hub is your low-key smart screen

What’s small, simple, cute, and lacks a camera? The Google Home Hub is the latest smart display to hit the market. Powered by Google Assistant, there’s a lot to like about this device.