Corrections or additions?

This article was prepared for the August 7, 2002 edition of

U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

U.S. 1 Crashes a Party

Miele USA outgrew its Michael Graves-designed headquarters

almost immediately after it moved in three years ago. So last week

the appliance maker cut the ribbon on an expansion that increased

the space by 75 percent, and plans are already being made for the

Miele campus to expand yet again.

"You could say it was a sign of bad planning," says Nick Ord,

president of Miele USA, "but actually we have had an explosion

of product sales."

With big blue columns accented by red and yellow, the building is

now a postmodern landmark on Route 1. "To the motorists passing

by," says Thomas Rowe, principal of Michael Graves & Associates,

"the Miele building says `high quality design’ at 55 miles an


The current expansion did not change the facade. Instead, about 54,000

square feet were added to the back of the building and the showroom

was expanded to include demonstration kitchens. But the next enlargement

would add an unusual elliptical glass enclosure to the Route 1 frontage.

Graves unveiled the design at a formal ribbon cutting ceremony last


"Miele’s desire to have Michael Graves design the long-range plans

now, before they even open the doors to their new expansion, demonstrates

their commitment to design, quality, and steadfast vision for the

future," says Rowe.

Founded in Germany in 1899, Miele is the world’s largest family-owned

appliance company; it has 15,000 employees worldwide. This year it

celebrated both the 75th anniversary of its first vacuum cleaner and

the introduction of the world’s first vacuum cleaner certified to

filter out virtually every bit of particulate matter.

Also new are Master Chef cooktops designed to the specifications of

American kitchens rather than to European measurements. The U.S. headquarters

also showcases such consumer products as laundry systems, dishwashers,

ovens, vent hoods, steam ovens, and a new built-in coffee system.

Also installed here for demonstrations and training purposes are commercial

products: laboratory glassware washers, industrial parts cleaning

systems, dental disinfectors, and commercial wet cleaning systems.

Miele has 130 employees here now, and the current expansion, including

the showroom with several demonstration kitchens, will accommodate

up to 200 people. When fully built, the 12.64-acre campus would triple

the existing space and could hold more than 600 people. The customer

service departments and administration buildings would move to the

newer spaces, while the existing building would house showroom and

training facilities, and there would be a four-story parking deck.

Miele is family owned, and almost all of the 1,260 dealers that sell

its products are family owned, and that is the bedrock of the company’s

success, said Rudolf Miele, co-chairman. "We are not seeking quick

success in the stock market. In the 1960s it was the rage to diversify,

but Miele focused on its core products. Later we resisted pressure

to grow by acquisition. We looked, not for growth at any price, but

organic expansion. We have not taken out a bank loan since the company’s


All of which was a good reason for a party, and U.S. 1’s Craig Terry

was there.

Miele Inc., 9 Independence Way, Princeton 08540.

Nick Ord, president. 800-843-7231; fax, 609-419-1794.

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