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Westinghouse Eyes Caribbean for New, Old Products With AM-Caribbean Drive III

January 1, 1987

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) _ Westinghouse, the electrical giant, is eyeing the Caribbean as a way to help it continue making some old products and turn out new ones.

The attraction is lower wage rates.

The Pittsburgh-based company is taking advantage of Puerto Rico’s ″twin- plant″ program to send some of its labor-intensive work to the Dominican Republic.

In the waterfront Parque Industrial Itabo, on the outskirts of Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital, Westinghouse is building four plants to help assemble circuit breakers, printed circuit boards and wire harnesses. It expects to hire 500 employees by year’s end.

The finished work is sent back to Puerto Rico for the technology-intensive final assembly, testing and shipping to the customer.

The twinning of the work results in lower labor costs than if the product were completely manufactured in Puerto Rico or the United States.

With lower costs, Westinghouse’s products can be more competitive.

Robert E. Burns, president of Westinghouse of Puerto Rico, said the program has ″allowed us to take a second look at some products that were probably going to disappear from our plate if not relatively soon, then eventually.″

The company is also looking at some new items.

″Westinghouse has had very few new products in recent years,″ Kenneth J. Wilson, general manager of the company’s offshore manufacturing operations in Mexico and the Caribbean Basin, wrote in a publication of the Puerto Rican Government Development Bank.

″But the new twin-plant idea has improved the situation,″ he said, ″and we have already identified several new ... products.″

End Adv Wed AMs Dec. 31

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