- Created: Monday, 10 September 2007 17:20
- Last Updated: Monday, 12 September 2016 17:03
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Admiral is an American appliance brand that was manufactured by Maytag but is now a Whirlpool owned brand, most new products appear to be merely rebranded Whirlpool products.
History Of Admiral Appliances
Admiral started as a Chicago based maker of consumer electronics (radios and phonographs) in the 1930s, supplied the US military with electronic equipment during World War II and was one of the major TV manufacturers in the early era of that medium, enabling it to branch out into major appliances such as refrigerators by the 1950s. During World War II, Admiral was the weekly sponsor of the CBS Radio Network Sunday news program, "World News Today", and Admiral used the promotional slogan "America's Smart Set".
The various divisions were sold to other companies by the mid-1970s due in part to competition from imported consumer electronic goods from Japan.
The Milwaukee Admirals hockey team derives its name from Admiral appliances. In 1971 when the team was sold by its original owner to a group of investors, one of the investors, Edwin J. Merar, owned an appliance store. The team was renamed the "Admirals" after the Admiral refrigerators sold in his store.
In May 1986 in a move toward becoming a full-line producer, Maytag purchased the Magic Chef group of companies in a $737 million stock swap. Magic Chef's Admiral brand gave Maytag a presence in the refrigerator and freezer sector. Besides Admiral refrigerators, Magic Chef also produced other home appliances under the names Toastmaster, Magic Chef, and Norge. The merger gave Maytag the fourth-largest share of the U.S. appliance market. It also brought vending machine manufacturer Dixie-Narco Inc., with its number one position in soft-drink vending equipment.
The Magic Chef purchase also helped protect Maytag from the threat of takeover. As the industry consolidated and other companies began to sell higher-priced appliances Krumm responded by moving into the medium-priced market. Magic Chef was Maytag's first step into that market.
The merger of Maytag and Magic Chef doubled Maytag's size and necessitated a restructuring. Maytag Company's name was changed to Maytag Corporation and three major appliance groups were formed: the Maytag appliance division, Magic Chef, and the Admiral appliance division (the Admiral division was consolidated into the other groups in 1988). Hardwick Stoves and Jenn-Air were included in the Maytag division. The president of Magic Chef remained as head of that division, which included Toastmaster--sold in 1987--Dixie-Narco, and Magic Chef air conditioning operations. The Admiral division included Norge and Warwick product lines, part of the old Magic Chef. Each division was given a great deal of autonomy. Other mergers within the industry during 1986 resulted in four companies (Whirlpool, General Electric, White Consolidated Industries, and Maytag) controlling 80 percent of the industry in the United States.
Since the Admiral brand has been full integrated into the huge Whirlpool Corporation the products that we have seen have merely been clones of standard off the peg Whirlpool products with tweaks to make them a little different for sale under the Admiral name, often at a much higher price point meaning that these days the Admiral brand is little other than an own label brand for Whirlpool.
Admiral Retail Position
Admiral refrigerators have, normally, in the UK been competitively priced relative to the market, often costing not that much more than similar products from the Far East, notably from LG and Samsung.
There have been little or no other Admiral branded products available in the UK.
Sadly though in recent times the Admiral name, which was a budget line for Maytag, has been bought by Whirlpool when they purchased Maytag in 2006 and all the new products for the UK appear to be re-badged Whirlpool ones.
Due to that we can no longer recommend the products any more than we can Whirlpool or any of the other clones.
These days it is really only American style side by side fridge freezers that are sold in the UK under the Admiral badge and all those that we have seen are simply re-badged Whirlpool units. So, save yourself money and simply buy the Whirlpool badged version or one of the other clones unless the price is comparable but, in effect, you are really buying a Whirlpool that will have the same service arrangements and costs.
Alternatives would include models from GE, Daewoo, Beko, LG and Samsung at this price point as most of the other brands around this price level will almost certianly be clones of one of those American fridge freezers if not another re-badged Whirlpool unit.
Admiral washing machines seem to be completely discontinued at the time of writing. There were American top loading washing machines available at one point but these were, so far as we could ascertain, simply re-badged Maytag top loaders converted for UK use.
For more help in choosing an appliance and more personal recommendation you can ask in our Buying Advice Forum for further assistance.
Official Admiral service is through the Whirlpool Service Partner network which can prove pricey out of the warranty period and, they will try to get you onto a Cover +1 service plan.
Most refrigeration repairers on the engineer search will repair Admiral and Maytag refrigeration without many problems.
Admiral Spare Parts
Spares are not cheap but, relative to the cost of the appliances cannot be considered unreasonable in most cases either. They do tend to be slightly more expensive than the Korean manufacturers and can suffer from delays, but then so do the Koreans generally.
There are few alternative or compatible spare parts available other than the water filters for most Admiral fridge freezers and pretty much none for any other appliances that are Admiral branded.
Admiral Key Contacts
Official website/email: No longer avaialble
Official telephone support: No longer available
Unnofficial technical support: http://www.ukwhitegoods.co.uk/forumsphpbb3
Primary trade only supplier (where available): CDSL
Address : See Whirlpool
Admiral Ratings & Review
These key indicators are gathered from general opinion within the industry, spares availability with major trade spares distributors and general engineer's opinions alongside how many repairers are registered to repair Admiral appliances. You can find out more about how we work out the ratings here
|UK market share|
Well enough known brand, more so in the USA
Overpriced Whirlpool clones
Old ones great, new ones not so much
Not held in the high regard the brand once was
Not so easy fiding repairers willing to take on Admiral in many areas of the country
|DIY repair rating||
Not fun for DIY repair
|Spare parts availability||
Spares have become progressively harder to come by
|Spare part pricing||
The charge of the light brigade would be more gentle that Admiral's spares pricing!
Now Admiral is merely another Whirlpool clone and an expensive on at that, if you can find any of course
Please do not use the comments below to ask for technical support or fault diagnosis assistance on any Admiral American fridge freezer or any other appliance as the engineers will not see the request. Please use the forums where more help will be available.