France: X Marks Success

Jean Mantelet was running a small plant that made hand-operated kitchen utensils when he decided ten years ago to try his luck with electric appliances.

He had his doubts. In fact, he labeled the first electric coffee mills off the assembly line "Moulin X" — literally, Mill X — to protect the reputation of his established firm, Moulin-Légumes, in case the venture did not work out. It did, and Mantelet's firm has since become France's largest manufacturer of electrical appliances, proudly bearing the name Moulinex. Last week at Paris' 34th International des Arts Menagers, where 1,800 appliance makers from...

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