If you have a family member who experienced America’s late seventies, they probably had a Maytag washer. Almost 70 percent of American households owned one of those reputable appliances.
It’s been over a century since Maytag introduced its first washing machine, the Pastime, to combat the seasonal drop in sales at its farm implement company. But unfortunately, although it was famed for its lonely repairman commercials, the company wasn’t as durable as its appliance.
Today, Maytag is under the umbrella of the US-based manufacturer Whirpool. However, the company still produces quality washers, dryers, and other appliances.
Is Maytag a Good Brand and who owns it?
Maytag is a highly recommended appliance brand—America’s oldest appliance manufacturer known for its durable, reliable products. In 2006, it was taken over by Whirlpool, a globally leading appliance manufacturer based in the US. Whirlpool has successfully maintained Maytag’s high production and testing standards in its US-based factories.
Besides the ol’ lonely nostalgia, Maytag’s history can definitely revive your pride in local production. It’s a story of successful appliance innovation and production, failed by operational and managerial decisions.
It’s not a sad ending, though. Today, Whirlpool continues to deliver your sought-after reliable Maytag appliances of the past.
The First Automated Maytag Products
Maytag produced its first automatic washers in 1949, just in time to enter the flourishing “white goods” market. The company faced fierce competition from full-line manufacturers, such as General Electric, Whirlpool, and Westinghouse, producing a more comprehensive range of products.
In response, Maytag positioned itself as a premium-brand manufacturer by limiting its production to washers and driers at its newly dedicated plant in Newton, Iowa. In parallel, it marketed the refrigerators and ovens of other brands.
Three generations of Maytag family members led the company until Fred Maytag II passed away in 1962. Two decades later, Magic Chef acquired Maytag and worked on its local and international expansion, starting with Hoover UK, a sub-company.
However, Hoover UK had led an unfortunate promotional campaign, forcing Maytag to eventually sell it. This was the beginning of Maytag’s decline. In 2003, the company couldn’t keep up with the competition from other appliance brands, like General Electric and Whirlpool, which outsourced their production years earlier.
Customer Loyalty Losses
By 2005, American consumers had ranked Maytag among the least reliable appliance manufacturers. Two product lines had serious durability and mechanical issues, leading to this drastic drop in customer satisfaction.
The “Legacy Series” washers delivered low-end quality washers of the acquired Amana production facility. And to top it off, Maytag was irresponsive to the issues with its flagship, Neptune.
Whirlpool’s Acquisition of Maytag
Between 2004 and 2005, Maytag’s got in trouble. Besides the lost customer base, sales were almost flat. As a result, fewer retailers were selling Maytag products, and the company was struggling.
In 2006, Whirlpool took over Maytag and closed its Newton-based headquarters and most of its manufacturing facilities. Today, Maytag’s label is used on home appliances designed and produced by Whirlpool.
Is Maytag Made in the USA? Where it is made
In 2004, Maytag still had 88 percent of its production at American facilities. Today, Whirlpool still produces its premium Maytag lines in the United States. Some of Whirlpool’s parts are outsourced for production but assembled in American factories.
If you’re looking for American-made appliances, check the product lines and source manufacturing plant. Remember that outsourced product lines are more affordable, so you’ll have to pay more for premium local product lines. We’ve compiled a list of factories below to help with your investigation.
Maytag’s Remaining Factories in the USA
In 2008, Maytag had 12 US-based manufacturing facilities. However, Whirlpool closed Maytag’s most efficient plant in Jackson, Tennessee, one year later. Over the following years, Whirlpool sold all but two of the original Maytag plants to other manufacturers.
The only Maytag facilities remaining in operation are located in Amana, Iowa, and Cleveland, Tennessee. Maytag currently produces most of its appliances at Whirlpool plants.
Maytag’s American-Made Products
Maytag’s kitchen appliances and laundry are manufactured in Tennessee. At the same time, French-door-model and top-compartment refrigerators are assembled at the Iowa plant.
The Bravos and Maxima washers and dryers are made at Whirlpool facilities in Marion and Clyde, Ohio. As for the dishwashers, they’re manufactured in Whirlpool’s factory in Findlay, Ohio.
The Double Drawer dishwasher is the only Maytag product innovation that lives to date. It’s currently produced at Whirlpool’s plant in Findlay, Ohio.
Since Whirlpool currently produces Maytag’s appliances, it’s a good reference point on production origins. Whirpool has stated in its advertisements that it employs over 15,000 workers in its US-based manufacturing facilities.
However, Whirlpool hasn’t mentioned details about its offshore facilities and whether local factories were dedicated to the production or assembly of the outsourced parts.
Maytag’s Best Product Models
Based on research by Consumer Reports, Ohio-made appliances rank top in the United States. We’ve mentioned earlier that Maytag’s products are produced at three Ohio-based Whirlpool factories.
Three Maytag products made it to the list by Consumer Reports:
Maytag’s upright freezer: MZF34X16DW
Maytag’s front-loading washer: Maxima MHW5100DW
Maytag’s front-loading washer: Maxima MHW8100DC
Maytag stands out from its competitors with a 10-year limited parts warranty. Although Whirlpool owns Maytag, it only offers a one-year parts warranty, which’s the industry standard.
However, Maytag’s warranty doesn’t cover labor costs after the first year. Whirlpool and other brands make up for their shorter warranty by covering other appliance parts and labor costs.
Wrap Up: Is Maytag a Good Brand?
Maytag still offers greater value across its appliances as they boast more premium features than similarly priced rival products. Maytag should be on your list if you’re seeking American-made home appliances.
Although Whirlpool hasn’t publicly disclosed the actual figures of its American production, it still delivers the Maytag quality expected by its consumers. Assuming Maytag’s appliances aren’t 100 percent Made in the USA, the high manufacturing standards of Whirlpool can guarantee the best of outsourced production.