You may have read elsewhere on the site that many appliances are not what they seem to be, or at least what the public expect them to be. Hopefully this will shed some light on this subject.
The following is a list of known groups followed by the brand names that they own, we'll try to update this as often as we can to keep it up to date.
More often than not you will find the same appliance simply rebadged between brands with minor cosmetic differences and, in many cases a lot of the spares even crossover on groups as well so there is no guarantee that buying a particular brand will get you a unique product, in fact it probably won't!
We wonder who will next be assimilated!
Hoover, a great British brand name. Not now!
In fact Hoover haven't been British since the mid 80's when Maytag bought them, got into hot water over the free flights fiasco and then bailed out selling it to Candy. Almost all Hoover machines are Candy with a dress on now.
You are not buying British when buying Candy and all the money goes back to the Italian parent.
Servis UK, Domar, many guises as this is Europe's largest third-party supplier of appliances.
All the same company and also own Viva which is really Balay from what we can see, for the UK. They also own the Gaggenau and Thermador brands as well as (we think) the old Imperial brand from Germany.
And don't be fooled by some salesperson telling you that "this is really made by Bosch as, with the exception of the odd integrated dishwasher, we've yet to see a Bosch, Neff or Siemens used on any other brand. Also bear in mind that Viva and the lower end (cheaper) Bosch is most often from the Balay plant in Spain and is NOT made in Germany. Look for the "Made In Germany" ticket if you want a real German appliance.
De Dietrich, whilst billed as an upmarket brand is so solely on style, many components are shared across the brands in the group (as is the case with the rest on this page) and they have been buying in integrated washers from Electrolux.
Same deal here I'm afraid, cross pollenation. Many of the products are the same, with a different facia or styling or they share common components.
Whirlpool, Ignis, Bauknecht and Maytag third party supplier particularly integrated refrigeration products. Whirlpool bought Maytag in 2006 so expect a rationalisation of products with more component and platform sharing, it is said that Maytag is to become the "upmarket" brand out the group.
A lot of people go looking for Teka and Kuppersbusch which are one and the same but they buy in dishwashers and many laundry products. Recently a lot of the cheap dishwashers appear to be cheap Haier or Midea Chinese manufactured appliances, cheap and nasty in other words.
As you can see from the above the vast majority of major brand names are owned by someone else and, more often than not, the products are not unique to a particular brand. Some are, but not many to reduce manufacturing costs.
You can also see that "names" are worth money, if they were not then the manufacturers would not spend money on snapping up all the brands that they can.
The problem for manufacturers is that many appliances they may not sell very many of particularly when it comes to niche and integrated product where the demand is low but it could mean the difference between getting a large contract with a builder and not for new home installations. Or for appealing to the kitchen specialist markets and not having that one niche product can cost them the entire sale of several appliances. So manufacturers cannot afford to do small volume runs therefore they simply buy the appliances in "badged". A cheap and very effective solution for the manufacturer but very misleading to the customer.
The same thing happens with the freestanding appliances that you will see in the likes of Comet or Currys, for example a Tricity washing machine is almost certainly (with the same spec.) identical internally to the equivelent Zanussi, AEG or Electrolux machine since they all get made in the same place, yet there can be a huge difference in price. You are paying for the name and the styling, nothing more. Of course the manufacturers would argue that there are differences, but when we look up the spares lo and behold, they all use the same part numbers. Now I wonder why that is?
People buy whitegoods largely on the strength of the brand name and the reputation that the appliance has, of course the price does make a difference but customers con't seem to think that there is any difference between a Servis machine sold for under £200 and a Meile at over a £1000 in terms of performance and longevity. Frankly that's like trying to compare a Trabant with a Mercedes E Class! The two are worlds apart in terms of performance and in engineering and it's the engineering and the quality of the components used that determine how long the machine will last.
Of course there are many other brands out there, but at a guess the ones above will cover the vast bulk of UK and, probably, worlwide appliance sales. So please understand that the big players, along with the large retailers, weild a phenomenal power in the whitegoods industry. So much so that many other, smaller brands, simply buy "badged" products from these manufacturers to bolster their production.
There are alternatives though now. With the opening of the cheap production from former Eastern Block states and also now massively from China, a lot of smaller production facilitites have become available. However, at the time of writing, some dishwashers from China are being produced for under £60 delivered into the UK yet being sold for £200+ and, frankly, they are utter rubbish that are plagued with faults. Install them incorrectly and the cabinet will actually twist, no it isn't a joke, it is sadly true.
But people want to buy cheap so the retailers and manufacturers will tell you, so you get cheap and, in the process you also get a minefield on brand names, not knowing what you're buying, from where or manufatured by whom.
Find out more from our Manufacturer Section using the link which offers far more information.