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Press release from PR Newswire

Whirlpool Corporation and Suning Announce Strategic Alliance in China

Monday, March 19, 2012

Whirlpool Corporation and Suning Announce Strategic Alliance in China11:56 EDT Monday, March 19, 2012Whirlpool Corporation Strengthens Distribution in China Whirlpool Brand® Appliances Gets Preferential Status with No. 1 Appliance Retailer in China Whirlpool Corporation Advances Emerging Market Growth StrategyBENTON HARBOR, Mich., March 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR), the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, announced today a strategic alliance in China with Suning Appliance Co., Ltd., for the sales of home appliances in China.(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20040202/DETU004LOGO ) As part of this strategic alliance, Whirlpool Corporation will have preferential access to Suning's national distribution network of 1,700 retail outlets throughout China and preferential access to fast growing market segments in China's smaller, but faster growing cities. Suning will benefit from exclusive access to the Whirlpool® brand within the National Electronic Super Store retail in China and receive preferential access to the Whirlpool® brand product innovations. Both companies will share supply chain resources and efficiencies to optimize costs. "This strategic alliance signifies our strong commitment to the China market, and our belief that people everywhere should have access to high-quality, consumer-relevant innovative appliances," said Michael Todman, President, Whirlpool International. "Suning's distribution network, as well as its excellent reputation as a leading electrical appliance retailer in China, makes it the ideal choice of partnership, which is a key enabler to our China growth strategy to become the leading international appliance brand and grow our domestic sales to $1 billion over the next several years." "In recent years, strategic partnerships with manufacturers have played a critical role in enhancing our marketing efforts," said Zhang Jindong, Chairman of Suning Appliance Co., Ltd.  "We are very pleased to form this strategic alliance with Whirlpool Corporation, since it is a natural expansion of our long and positive relationship and it will further expand Suning's in-store capability, and ability to provide great customer shopping experiences across its sales floors."About Whirlpool CorporationWhirlpool Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $19 billion in 2011, 68,000 employees, and 66 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world.  The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world.  Additional information about the company can be found at www.whirlpoolcorp.com.About Suning Appliance Co. Ltd.Suning Appliance Co. Ltd is China's largest 3C electrical appliance (consumer appliance, computer and communication products) retailer with more than 1700 chain stores covering almost 300 cities all over the People's Republic of China. Headquartered in Nanjing, Jiangsu, the company has 180,000 employees and annual sales volume of more than RMB 100 billion. Founded in 1990, the company ranks among the Top 3 China domestic home appliance chain store companies, and No.51 among the Top 500 Chinese companies, and is the No.1 Chinese retail company among Forbes Global Top 2000 Enterprises.Whirlpool Additional InformationThis document contains forward-looking statements about Whirlpool Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries ("Whirlpool") that speak only as of this date. Whirlpool disclaims any obligation to update these statements. Forward-looking statements in this document may include, but are not limited to, statements regarding expected earnings per share, cash flow, productivity and material and oil-related prices. Many risks, contingencies and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from Whirlpool's forward-looking statements. Among these factors are: (1) intense competition in the home appliance industry reflecting the impact of both new and established global competitors, including Asian and European manufacturers; (2) Whirlpool's ability to continue its relationship with significant trade customers and the ability of these trade customers to maintain or increase market share; (3) changes in economic conditions which affect demand for our products, including the strength of the building industry and the level of interest rates; (4) inventory and other asset risk; (5) global, political and/or economic uncertainty and disruptions, especially in Whirlpool's significant geographic regions, including uncertainty and disruptions arising from natural disasters or terrorist attacks;  (6) The impact of the European debt crisis;  (7) the ability of Whirlpool to achieve its business plans, productivity improvements, cost control, price increases, leveraging of its global operating platform, and acceleration of the rate of innovation;  (8) fluctuations in the cost of key materials (including steel, oil, plastic, resins, copper and aluminum) and components and the ability of Whirlpool to offset cost increases;  (9) litigation and legal compliance risk and costs, especially costs which may be materially different from the amount we expect to incur or have accrued for; (10)  product liability and product recall costs;  (11) the effects and costs of governmental investigations or related actions by third parties; (12) Whirlpool's ability to obtain and protect intellectual property rights; (13)  the ability of suppliers of critical parts, components and manufacturing equipment to deliver sufficient quantities to Whirlpool in a timely and cost-effective manner;  (14) health care cost trends, regulatory changes and variations between results and estimates that could increase future funding obligations for pension and post retirement benefit plans;  (15) information technology system failures and data security breaches; (16) the impact of labor relations; (17) our ability to attract, develop and retain executives and other qualified employees; (18) changes in the legal and regulatory environment including environmental and health and safety regulations; and (19) the ability of Whirlpool to manage foreign currency fluctuations.  Additional information concerning these and other factors can be found in Whirlpool Corporation's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the most recent annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and current reports on Form 8-K.SOURCE Whirlpool CorporationFor further information: Whirlpool Corporation, Media, +1-269-923-7405, Media@Whirlpool.com; or Financial, Angela Hersil, +1-269-923-2641, Investor_Relations@Whirlpool.com