Maytag Previews 2nd-Qtr. Lineup

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Maytag will add a third-generation Neptune washer with touchscreen operation later this year, along with a range using the Accellis technology introduced by its Jenn-Air division in January.

At a March 7 investor meeting, Maytag chairman/CEO Lloyd Ward showed off several new products planned for introduction during the second half. "Maytag's new product lineup in major appliances and floor care will provide the momentum behind revenue growth in the second half," Ward predicted.

The company, he said, is also "focused on significantly lowering the cost of our business, expanding margins, and in-creasing asset turns as we build a platform for sustainable growth."

At the meeting, Ward emphasized the four key strategies designed to drive growth at Maytag: "Intelligent Innovation" in products and services behind premium brands; operating excellence to deliver improved quality and productivity; expanding markets worldwide; and building what he called "an e-Enterprise" to support the company's core businesses.

"Becoming an e-Enterprise will take costs out of our system, improve the speed with which we operate, and lead us into new ways of doing business," he said.

Among the new products previewed were a Neptune washer with a built-in water heater for improved wash performance, plus a touchscreen user interface designed for easier selection of wash functions, and a Maytag-brand Accellis range said to cook in half the time of conventional ovens.

Also shown at the meeting were the built-in Jenn-Air Accellis oven and the Maytag ClimateZone refrigerator -- both introduced at the recent Builders Show and due on the market later this year.

"To believe in Maytag's ability to create value, it's important to believe in our ability to innovate," Ward stated. "These products are crucial evidence." -- Cathy Ciccolella

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