By L. Kalamara
This week's announcement that a local appliance manufacturer, whose brand-name has featured prominently in Greece since 1865, is headed for closure sent more shivers through the country's business and industrial community, coming after similar closures by a handful of other well-known companies.
Germany-based BSH this week announced that the Pitsos manufacturing unit, located in the Rendi industrial district between downtown Athens and the port of Piraeus, will wind down operations in late 2018.
Pitsos has long been associated in Greece with the production of white goods and even as an assembly line for televisions sets prior to the 1980s. The company also manufactures solar water heaters for the Greek market.
Pitsos marked the first overseas purchase for BSH, back in 1977. The first ominous signs for the Greek manufacturing unit appeared two years ago amid a shareholder reshuffle in the company, which led to multinational Siemens departure from BSH, officially known as Bosch Siemens Hausgeraete SA. The Rendi unit hosted two production lines, one for refrigerators and the other for kitchen ovens, until the first was closed. The oven division under the Pitsos brand name produces 220,000 units a year.
According to BSH, a new generation of kitchen ovens will replace the current lines this year. However, the Rendi plant was not selected to manufacture the new technology units.
According to reports, the brand "Pitsos" will continue to exist, but with appliances built in other BSH plants around the world, such as in Poland, Turkey and China.