ASKO Fires ALL Swedish Employees CORRECTION 7/17

Appliance Magazine reported that ASKO owner Gorenje has closed it ASKO factory in Sweden to move production to Slovenia.  Will "Made in Slovenia" have the same feeling of luxury and sophistication as "Made in Sweden"?  Probably not in this lifetime.

Correction from ASKO
ASKO’s worldwide production in Sweden will close and move to Slovenia in 2013.  450 jobs will be lost as a result.  The closure followed a successful negotiation with the ASKO unions.
50 jobs encompassing research, product development, and sales and marketing will remain in Sweden. apologizes for our error.

Advisor Comment:  And there’s no better place to be unemployed than Scandinavia.

Advisor Comment:  There was also a question from ASKO about whether the move to Slovenia might effect the brand, as Engineering and Marketing remained in Sweden.  As manufacturers are branded, so are entire nations.  There are good or bad feelings associated with every nation, whether that nation be Nigeria, Germany, Canada or Sweden. 

These feelings can be the result from a canny promotion of the foreign service, or recent news, or a negative impression of the history we remember, or are reminded of by Hollywood movies. 
Sweden has a brand that encompasses efficiency and alpine simplicity, and a sleek aesthetic, and technical capability, and high cost, and overly tall blond models.  This is where expensive stuff is made for folks who don’t ask the price.

Slovenia is a brandless location, which is just as well for a spinoff of Yugoslovia. 
Will the production location effect the corporate branding?  We do think so.
What could be a bigger issue for the corporate branding is whatever is driving the decision to move production of a luxury brand, from Sweden to Slovenia.  Cost Savings. 

If corporate is willing to shut down its only production facility and move to Slovenia for savings, what else might they do for savings?

One Response to ASKO Fires ALL Swedish Employees CORRECTION 7/17

  1. Very people ask where Askos are manufactured since most of the ones we sell are ADA models sold to contractors who use them because they are familar with them.  However, having said that, retail consumers DO  care about where things are made and while Slovenia is hardly on anyone’s radar, Mexico and China don’t engender positive feelings.  The quality of Askos has certainly varied over the years, though, so they have hardly been the Volvos of the appliance world.  Perhaps the former Yugoslavs soon to be building them can put some consistency into the quality.  Or maybe not if the engineers stay in Sweden.  Too many blond distractions, I suspect. 

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