Brand confusion is rampant, which isn’t surprising when you realize there are only a few true manufacturers left in the appliance world. Did you know your Kenmore refrigerator could actually be manufactured by Whirlpool, LG or General Electric?
Your mind is probably reeling, but don’t panic. Confusion regarding appliance brands is fairly common. You better believe this uncertainty plays to the advantage of appliance manufactures that own different brands. By listing their products under different brands, appliance manufacturers are able to improve their market share.
In this blog post, we’re going explain some of the history behind some of the more prevalent appliance brands. Hopefully this will illustrate what’s really going on in the appliance industry on the part of the manufacturers.
This is an American brand of household appliances founded by George Foerstner in 1934 as The Electrical Equipment Company. Foerstner’s company was renamed Amana Refrigeration in 1936 when he sold it to the Amana Society. The first upright freezer for the home was created by Amana in 1947 and in 1949 they added a side-by-side refrigerator and freezer. Learn more about the history of Amana here.
Amana was eventually bought by Maytag, which was subsequently bought by Whirlpool.
Karl-Erik Andersson, a Swedish farmer, founded this minor brand. This company focuses creating appliances that are friendly to the environment, energy efficient and well-made. Andersson designed one of the first front-load washers. ASKO opened its first facility in the United States in 1987. Each of their products is designed with energy efficiency and durability in mind. They also use stainless steel rather than plastic whenever possible. All of their appliances are Energy Star listed as well. Learn more about their history here.
This brand represents a tiny part of the appliance market.
This company has a long history. In fact, they’ve been in business since 1886 and in 1912 they opened their first factory in the United States. The first Bosch refrigerator was introduced to the household appliance market in 1933. Learn more about the interesting history of this brand here.
Bosch represents a small portion of the appliance market.
Dacor is an American made, family-owned business. Founded in 1965 by Stanley M. Joseph. They’ve been designing and manufacturing luxury kitchen appliances for three generations. They created the first kitchen ventilation system and first indoor electric barbecue. Learn more about their history here.
This brand represents a tiny portion of the appliance market.
This is a behind-the-scene brand that has taken over a lot of the American leftover brands. The origins of this company can be traced back to the invention of the vacuum cleaner. The first built-in refrigeration is created in 1930. It’s perfect for the kitchenette of most small, modern apartments common during this time. They are a British company. Learn more about the history of this brand here.
Fisher & Paykel
An appliance manufacturing company based in New Zealand dating back to the 1930s. Their main claim to fame is the two drawer dishwasher. Learn more about their history here.
In 2012, Haier purchased over 90 percent of Fisher & Paykel’s appliance share.
This appliance company was originally known as the Guardian Frigerator Company and was founded in 1916. It didn’t take long for General Motors to realize its potential. In 1918, GM purchased the company and gave it the name Frigidaire. Mass production techniques were applied and, production facilities were improved and additional sales offices were opened. It didn’t take long for Frigidaire to take off as a company. Learn more about the history of this brand here.
Frigidaire was eventually purchased by White Sewing Machine Company in 1979, which was in turn purchased by Electrolux, its current parent, in 1986.
Dating all the way back to 1892, this well-known American multinational conglomerate corporation created the first practical incandescent light bulb and built America’s first Central Power Station. “With power and light, General Electric provided the basis of modern life, quickly redefining everything from the length of the day to our knowledge of the human body through the development of the first X-ray machine.” Learn more about their history here.
GE is a key player in the appliance circle. They are currently listed as the 4th biggest public company in the world among the Forbes Global 2000.
This appliance brand is a Chinese multinational consumer electronics and home appliances company headquartered in China. They produce mobile phones, microwave ovens, air conditioners, computers, washing machines, refrigerators and television.
Haier brand had the world’s largest market share in domestic appliances, with 7.8 percent in 2011. The main reason why Haier is such a successful appliance brand is they listen to their customers’ complaints and deliver products that address their needs.
In 2012, Haier purchased over 90 percent of Fisher & Paykel’s appliance share.
Founded in 1911, this company is General Electric’s builder line. They’re famous for their electric irons, toasters and electric cookers. Learn more about the history of this brand here.
This appliance brand was founded in 1914. It was one of the very first companies to introduce electric refrigerators. Learn more about their history here.
They’ve been taken over by Electrolux.
Created by the Hobart Corporation in 1919, this appliance brand is now Whirlpool’s upscale brand. They bought the KitchenAid brand from Hobart in 1986.
This brand is owned by Sears. Kenmore doesn’t manufacture anything; instead their appliances are made by other leading manufacturers and typically have added features. These items are then rebranded with the Kenmore brand name. Some of the brands Kenmore buys from are General Electric, LG, Whirlpool and others. Use this model number reference table to figure out the manufacturer of your Kenmore appliance.
Learn more about the history of this brand here.
A Korean brand established in 1958 under the name GoldStar. They mainly produced washing machines, televisions, refrigerators, radios and air conditioners. The name LG came about after two Korean companies, Lucky and Goldstar, merged. They started exporting appliances under their own name and also through Kenmore and Whirlpool. Learn more about their history here.
This old name appliance brand was taken over by Maytag, and then subsequently bought by Whirlpool.
Today if you buy a Maytag it’s actually a Whirlpool. Learn more about the history behind the brand here.
A German appliance company started in 1899. This company is family-owned and run. They’re a fairly small company. Learn more about their history here.
This brand was founded in 1919. They are Whirlpool’s builder line.
A South Korean multinational company was created in 1969. As well as being known for producing appliances, they’re also one of the world’s largest producers of mobile phones and smart phones. They’re beginning to market their own name, but have been coming into the United States under Kenmore for quite some time. Learn more about their history here.
This appliance brand was founded in 1945. They sell very high-end refrigerators. Learn more about the history of this brand here.
Viking started out as an old range manufacturer. This brand currently manufactures high-end professional kitchen appliances for residential and commercial use. Learn more about their history here.
Another one of the old U.S. brands, which was taken over by Electrolux. Learn more about the history behind this brand here.
Then of course, there’s Whirlpool. They’re the big boy on the block. This brand was founded in 1910. Some of their brands include Amana, KitchenAid, Magic Chef and Maytag. Learn more about the history of this company here.
Wolf is owned by Subzero.
Now that your eyes are probably glazed over, we’re proud to announce we’ve condensed all of this information for your reading pleasure! It’ll definitely come in handy when you’re looking for a new refrigerator filter or replacement part.
The main key players in the appliance marketplace are as follows:
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