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    Special Ceremony Marks Opening Of India Water Heater Plant

    Bangalore, India (Wednesday, 30 June 2010)

     A special ribbon cutting ceremony today attended by company officials, dealers, and customers marked the official opening of A. O. Smith’s newest manufacturing operation, a residential water heater plant in Bangalore, India.

    A. O. Smith Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Paul W. Jones and A. O. Smith Water Products Company President Ajita G. Rajendra hosted the event, which included more than 150 dealers and customers from throughout India. A. O. Smith is the first U.S. water heater company to establish a manufacturing presence in the country.

    The 76,000-square-foot plant, located in the Harohali Karnataka Industrial Area, will manufacture glass-lined residential water heaters for the Indian market in sizes ranging from six liters up to 100 liters. The plant is located on 20 acres just outside of Bangalore; the site also will serve as the headquarters for A. O. Smith’s Indian business.

    “A. O. Smith is known as a company that emphasizes manufacturing and process technology, and this plant will take its rightful place as one of our showpiece operations, an outstanding addition to our global capabilities,” Jones said during the ceremony.

    “Over the last 15 years, the company has greatly expanded its presence in markets outside the United States,” he continued. “Now, we are embarking on the next phase of global expansion with this exciting new facility in India. And while we are still very new in this country, we are excited about the growth potential it has to offer, not just in terms of water heaters, but also electric motors and water purification products.”

    A. O. Smith began researching the Indian market five years ago, Rajendra said, and its efforts in establishing the business included developing a series of products specifically designed for the Indian consumer, building a distribution network and stocking warehouses throughout the country, and hiring a strong local team. Rajendra also acknowledged the importance of the company’s strategic partnership with Jaquar, one of the largest suppliers in the sanitary ware channel in India.
    “Now we have reached the next phase of the process, establishing a local manufacturing operation that will enable us to serve our customers efficiently and at low cost. Equally as important, this operation has the room to expand in the future as the growth of our business dictates,” Rajendra pointed out.

    “Bangalore’s location is ideal, strategically located in the midst of one of our key markets, with good infrastructure to meet our long-term distribution needs. The city also has a well-educated work force with tremendous exposure to the latest technology, which we also felt was essential to our success. As is the case with any A. O. Smith operation in the world, the plant combines a balanced mix of technology and well-trained employees. This potent combination allows us to build products of consistently high quality,” he said.

    In addition to water heater assembly, the plant includes a production line to apply its exclusive Blue Diamond® glass lining to water heater tanks. The Blue Diamond glass offers superior corrosion resistance when compared with conventional glass-lined products, stainless steel, or copper-lined tanks. A. O. Smith also coats the electric element in addition to the interior of the tank for additional corrosion protection.

    In the initial phase, the plant will purchase pre-painted steel components for water heater jackets. Plans call for plant expansions as the business grows to including jacket and tank fabrication and painting.

    About A. O. Smith Corporate
    A. O. Smith Corporation, with 2009 sales of $2.0 billion, is a global leader applying innovative technology and energy-efficient solutions to products marketed worldwide. The company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of residential and commercial water heating equipment, offering a comprehensive product line featuring the best-known brands in North America and China. A. O. Smith is also one of the largest manufacturers of electric motors for residential and commercial applications in North America.

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