F & P Logo Refrigerators for sale

Refrigerators for sale

F & P Production

Fisher & Paykel production line

Fisher & Paykel first offices

Fisher & Paykel was formed in 1934, after two young friends, Woolf Fisher and Maurice Paykel, managed to sell surplus refrigerators that had been imported by Paykel's family company, Paykel Brothers. With other family members investing capital, the pair opened their first office and showroom on the mezzanine floor of Queen's Arcade, Auckland. Appliance retailing was in its infancy and the small firm supplemented its income by negotiating agencies for other products, such as record players, vacuum cleaners, irons, and toasters.

In 1938, import and foreign exchange restrictions forced the firm to consider manufacturing. Orders were sourced on the basis of a mock-up and production of Kelvinator washing machines (under license) was commenced. The declaration of war, the following year, had some unexpected benefits for the infant manufacturer. With washing machines and refrigerators declared an essential industry, the company was protected against closure through lack of raw materials or loss of staff. As a consequence, they were able to expand their business and move to larger, two-storey premises in Carlaw Park Lane. By 1949 the company was producing 600 washing machines, 500 refrigerators, and 700 vacuum cleaners per month and struggling to keep pace with orders from retailers.

In 1956, the firm opened a new 48,000 square foot, purpose-built factory in Mt Wellington in 1956 (see Exhibit 5). Within four years, aided by new product launches and a network over 200 dealers throughout New Zealand exclusively marketing Fisher & Paykel product, the factory had expanded to a staff of 600.

In the late 1960s, the firm began to turn its attention towards exporting. Selling to countries, such as Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan annual export income rose from $500,000 to $2.4m between 1967 and 1971. At the same time, planning began for a new factory at East Tamaki (13,684 sq m), with twice the production capacity of Mt Wellington.

In 1979, Fisher & Paykel became a public company with an authorized capital of 40m $1 shares. The group, now led by managing director Don Rowlands and chairman Maurice Paykel (after the death of Sir Woolf Fisher in 1975), consisted of nine companies (100 percent owned) and nine subsidiaries including: whiteware and appliance manufacturing, a cartage company, a tool-making company, finance firm, television manufacture, as well as cabinetmaking, spark plug manufacture, and service companies.

New product launches characterized the development of the firm. Channeling significant amounts of profit into capital expenditure and research and development, in 1985 the ECS electronic washing machine was launched after five years of intensive development. Electronic control systems, developed by Fisher & Paykel, controlled the machine which no longer had the traditional gearbox of alternative models. In addition, the Prince Philip Award Series refrigerators were introduced, manufactured on a new highly automated plant line. This was supplemented by new ranges of wall ovens, dish washers, and freezers.

A fundamental change to the company's organisational structure occurred over 1998 and 1999 when preparation began for a split between Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Appliances. The medical division had proved increasingly profitable and by the first half of 1997-98, contributed 50% of the company profit and exported over 95% of its production. The split precipitated a re-organisation of Fisher & Paykel Appliances. Ending a 30-year-old relationship with Japanese appliance giant, Matsushita, Fisher & Paykel quit its distributorship of National, Technics, and Panasonic products, refocusing the company into three business units, and dispensing with the previous divisionalised structure.

In 2001, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Ltd and Fisher & Paykel Appliances Holdings Ltd became two separately listed companies. The more concentrated direction appeared profitable for the firm. Spearheading export activities with further new product innovations such as EcoSmart washing machines and DishDrawers, by 2004, the year in which Fisher & Paykel Appliances celebrated 70 years of business, revenue from appliance exports had increased to 71 percent of total revenue, with the firm exporting to 80 countries worldwide.

work on the assembly line

Goblin vacuum cleaners

Goblin vacuum cleaners

Offices and first factor

Offices and first factor

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