- Created: Saturday, 04 November 2006 13:35
- Last Updated: Friday, 09 September 2016 10:49
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Founded in 1911 by Louis, Frederick and Emory Upton as the Upton Machine Company the behemoth of a company went through various changes until 1950 when the Whirlpool name was established.
Whirlpool has annual sales of over $13 billion, 68,000 employees worldwide at nearly 50 different locations, and manufactures appliances under a variety of brands as listed below.
In 1989 Whirlpool acquired the Philips home appliances division and with that Bauknecht giving Whirlpool a springboard into the European market which it has capitalised on ever since. The European division is headquartered in Italy.
After acquiring the Maytag Corporation on March 31, 2006, Whirlpool Corporation became the largest home appliance maker in the world.
In North America, Whirlpool Corporation is headquartered in Benton Harbor in Michigan and manufacturers appliances in the states of Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Whirlpool's best known product is the washing machine, which in the United States is today manufactured in Clyde, Ohio. The Clyde washing machine plant produces about 20,000 top-loading washing machines per day, or a total of about 4.8 million per year. The machines are produced for sale primarily in North America and Australia.
Whirlpool also have an agreement with Fisher & Paykel which allows Whirlpool to sell a re-badged version of the Dishdrawer dishwasher.
But now with the aquisition of Indesit Company, Whirlpool is simply a massive global corporation.
Brands That Whirlpool Own
- Gladiator GarageWorks
- KIC (in South Africa)
- Laden (France)
- Speed Queen Mexico (but not Speed Queen in the United States)
- Amana (appliances)
- Hoover vacuums (now sold)
- Magic Chef
Whirlpool also manufactures under the Kenmore label, (manufactured for Sears, Roebuck and Company). Whirlpool sells more of its appliances under the "Kenmore" name than under its own "Whirlpool" brand in the US.
Whirlpool Market Position
As the range of brand names would suggest, like other large players in the industry, Whirlpool appears to be spreading across several sectors, from budget appliances right up to the higher end. Bauknecht was supposed to represent Whirlpool in the higher end of the market but appear to be not much more than re-badged Whirlpool products.
The core Whirlpool brand appears to be budget to mid-range except on contract appliances, to kitchen companies, house builders etc. where the products seem stripped out or lower specified and sold on price.
The dust has still to settle on the acquisition of Maytag but it is expected within the industry that Whirlpool will attempt to use the brand as a more upmarket and higher ticket price route to market.
Whirlpool Aftersales Service & Repairs
Aftersales in the UK is provided by a network of independent agents who seem to be, generally, almost solely dedicated to Whirlpool service alone. There has been speculation on the quality of service given the rates on offer.
Whirlpool do offer an eight year parts warranty for very little payment on most, if not all, of it's products in the UK but this is offset by the high labour charges made to obtain the "free" parts in much the same way as most other manufacturers like Hoover and Hotpoint operate such schemes.
Recently all incoming call traffic is handled by a company called Inkfish, a division of Domestic & General Insurance. All calls go to a centralised call centre where the call is then routed to the appropriate Service Partner using a system known as Cover +1 that is used by a number of manufacturers these days.
Should your appliance be out of warranty at this point the call centre staff will attempt to sell you an insurance policy to cover that repair. It has been alleged by several industry sources that the Inkfish call centre is quoting over-the-top potential repair costs in order to "scare" customers into accepting these policies. Electrolux has seemingly introduced an almost identical scheme.
Approved local engineers found on our engineer search facility have usually little trouble in repairing Whirlpool branded products.
Whirlpool Spare Parts
Spare part pricing for Whirlpool in the UK is notorious as being ludicrously expensive for many years within the repair industry and, nothing has changed. Spares can be extremely expensive on all Whirlpool products in relation to the purchase price.
Spares can be obtained, often at far lower prices, through UK Whitegoods with a good few cheap compatible spare parts available.
Apart from stocks held in various Service Partners and distributors all spare parts come from Italy, Whirlpool has no UK spares distribution and this can lead to delays in obtaining spare parts.
Whirlpool Rating & Review
If you hover your mouse pointer over each set of bars you can see more comments on each rating and you can find out how we determine these rating in this article explaining how we put this together in as easy way possible for people to understand quickly.
Whirlpool market share
Whirlpool appliance pricing
DIY repair rating
Spare parts availability
Spare part pricing
Solid budget to mid range products but the techincal backup and support is highly questionable. However excellent spares availability make Whirlpool Group appliances a reasonable buy so long as you don't want to repair it yourself and need technical assistance.
Please do not use the comments below to ask for technical help or fault advice on any Whirlpool appliance as the engineers will not see the request here. Please use the forums where much more help will normally be available using this free service.