Vestel is a name that will be alien to most UK consumers and, quite probably, much of the European Union let alone the rest of the world. Vestel's parent company, Zorlu Group, will most likely be the same.
But, the group produces appliances, electronics and consumer electronics products sold under a great many brand names that many consumers will know. For example, lower range Panasonic washing machines are made by Vestel in Turkey, the home country of the company.
If you click on the image to the right you can view a short promotional video for the Vestel company.
Vestel’s involvement in the white goods sector dates back to 1988, when the Vestel Group established a joint venture with a leading Asian durable goods manufacturer to produce microwave ovens, later expanding into production and marketing agreements for refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers and mini electric ovens. So in relative terms Vestel is a newcomer to the industry.
Vestel White Goods constructed a $100 million static and no-frost refrigerator plant that had an initial capacity of 600,000 units in early 1999 and a final capacity of 1,200,000 units on its completion in 2000 with Sanyo of Japan providing the technical know-how for the plant, which has been designed with a flexible production structure to facilitate customized production.
This flexibility, combined with state-of- the-art technology, will enable the plant to export roughly half of its output to Europe, the CIS, North Africa and the US. Vestel Goods plant is located in the Manisa Organized Industrial Zone Near Izmir.
In line with its strategy of developing capacity in the white goods sector, Vestel White Goods is initiated two more manufacturing investments in mid 1998. The first of these is a $80 million facility for producing automatic washing machines which has a capacity of 1,000,000 units since operations began in the second half of 1999.
So far as we can tell Vestel started trading in the UK around about 2006/2007 making appliances for various brands and have not sold under any of their own brands for whitegoods. This situation is set to change however as the company purchased the Servis and some other brand names from the collapsed Antonio Merloni Group (Vestel used to make appliances for the group) and intend to re-introduce the Servis brand name tol the UK early in 2012.
Vestel have, like most new entrants, operated at the lower end of the appliance market largely making appliances with low capacities and low spin speeds for own-label brands from large retailers and supermarkets.
Some of the more uprange models however, although rarely seen, would compete well enough in what is known as the "premium mass-market" segment of the market with Bosch, AEG Electrolux and so on. However, breaking into that more premium arena seems to have thus far elluded Vestel beyond one or two small forrays.
Vestel have produced washing machines for the following brands in the UK that we are aware of:
And probably more!
Frankly our experience has been a bit of a nightmare.
It is mostly washing machine spares that cause the issue as the laundry line appears the most popular appliance from Vestel's range in the UK. The problem, apart from delivery times from Turkey which seem at times to be extraordinarily lengthy, is one of simple availability. Vestel appear to only allow the account holder or an authorised agent order spares for any particular brand. This means that many of the normal spares distributors do not have access to spare parts information or supply and therefore there can be difficulty in getting spares in the UK.