The REAL Refridgerator Manufacturers?

msloane794January 20, 2008

I'm trying to plan a kitchen remodel, and I'm trying to get info on refridgerators, particularly the French Door models. At one appliance store, a sales-person (who appeared to be pretty knowledable) made an interesting statement. He said that there were fundamentally two refridgerator manufacturers: Amana and LG. He said everybody else purchases their units from Amana or LG, add's their "bells and whiltles", trim, and logo, and sells it as their own. The salesman went on to show me the fundamental differences between the Amana and LG designs, as they pertained to the French Door models.

Following that, I spent the day shopping at several other stores, and I observed things that seemed to support the sales-guy's statement. If you look at the door hinges, and the mechanics of how the doors close, I observed three fundamentally different designs.

I saw Kitchen Aid models that looked nearly exactly the same as the Amana. I saw some GE models that looked like the Amana, and other GE's that looked like the LG. All of the models I looked at seemed to be essentially the same as either the Amana or the LG, except for the Samsung models. The Samsung design looked fundamentally different from the other two.

So, based upon my observations, I would guess that there are three real fridge manufacturers, and I'm guessing they are Amana, LG, and Samsung.

Does anybody have any idea if the "two or three fridge manufacturers" idea is close to being accurate?

If this is true, is there any thought about which "real" manufacturer produces the most reliable product?

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Lurk around these forums long enough and you'll learn more on your own then you could ever ask of most appliance salespeople. This should help you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Who Makes What.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 4:17PM
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I read somewhere on GW that some of the GE profile fridges are made by Samsung. The door handles sure look the same.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 4:40PM
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Bottom drawer fridges indeed have few manufacturers. They are the smallest segment of the fridge market, and it just doesn't pay to have lots of makers make just a few units each.

Top freezer and SxS models are made by more companies, as they sell a lot more units.

Kenmore (Sears) appliances are made by several different manufacturers. Sears units are generally similar to the real manufacturers models, but often have a unique feature or two. Sears can do this because they sell roughly 40% of the major appliances in North America, giving them lots of clout.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 6:19PM
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LG builds the GE french Door refrigerator and the GE Harmony washer.
The LG gas range is built for them by GE.

An LG sales/servicer told me this just a week or two ago as I was in the market for a new refrigerator. He works on them everyday so I believe what he tells me.

Amana looks just like the Maytags cause they are escentially the same BUT on the website they have added a few new models that are identical to Whirlpools so they are slowly tranforming all of them over to an "alike" style since Whirlpool now owns them all IMO.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 6:38PM
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Joe Henderson LRG

There really are only a few freestanding bottom-freezer manufacturers. Specifically, LG, Amana, GE, and samsung. LG makes there own units, some of the kenmores, and the 20/22cf variants of GE. GE makes only there own 25cf according to my GE sources though I think the design looks almost entirely out of the Amana design book. Amana makes, the majority including, whirlpool,kitchenaid,jennair,dacor,viking, maytag, and a few others i'm leaving out. In side x sides and top freezer's there are more with most being made at least partly by the company on the unit.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 3:47PM
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Samsung makes the new GEFD with the ice and water dispenser. LG also makes the sears FD models. KA makes most of the higher-end sears SXS fridges. You can usually tell who makes what by checking out the freezer compartments and looking at the icemakers. It is very telling Most of the salesmen I have delt with don't know who makes what. All they have to do is check the manufacturer label and it will give you the manufacturers codes. I have looked them up myself on the internet as the appliance dealers usually don't know.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 8:53PM
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Joe Henderson LRG

Who told you that Samsung makes this unit for GE?

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 11:41AM
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GEFD with ice and water in the door is definatly a samsung.
Label inside the fridge says made in Korea. Same ice maker and shrlf and drawers.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 8:43PM
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I was told this by a GE tech and a GE CS manager in a store one day. The CS manager was in the store to talk with the store sales dept. about the new appliance models and to update them on what was coming out. It was a very large MD/ VA appliance chain and I just happened to be eaves-dropping. I then started asking questions, he offered me a job saying that I knew more about appliances than most of the personnel in the stores he visited.(thanks to this forum and other internet sources). I know he was joking, but it was informative to listen to him and ask questions. He didn't know some of the things I knew either, but the Samsung FD dispenser fridge is definitely a model that was purchased and rebadged by GE.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 9:54AM
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Joe Henderson LRG

i wasnt debating the point only asking the question. I didn't know that

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 12:54PM
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I have unboxed GE French Doors and found the Samsung & Daewoo paperwork inside them. Samsung may be "making" the fridges, but it is on paper only. They are coming from Daewoo.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 10:39PM
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I may be wrong but Amana, Jennair, whirlpool, maytag and kitchenaid are all basically the same company and so you can figure that all of their french door fridges with some feature differances are basically the same box. Like GM and Chevy trucks, GM trucks just have a few more bells and whisles and of course a higher price tag.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 12:51PM
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Amana produces the Maytag, Jenn-air, Kitchenaid, Dacor and Viking. LG now only makes LG. Samsung makes for GE.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 1:53PM
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Does Samsung definately make the GE counter depth french door? I'm not sure of the model number but i want a counter depth stainless steel french door that does not have ice in the door. Want an ice maker and am somewhat indifferent to the water dispenser thing. Living in Florida I have a water cooler (our water kinda sucks) with 5 gallon jugs on it. I did think the interior button that you can push for water (saw that on a few different frig models/manufacturers) was pretty cool... though not critical. I'm also liking the new Fisher and Paykel counter depth french door that is coming out in March. Some ebay stores have it available but I haven't seen it in person yet.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 3:29PM
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Samsung definately
makes the GE profile cabinet depth and the soon to be GE Cafe cabinet depth french door refrigerators

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 3:35PM
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You are looking at the exact same refrigerator that I am the SS GE Monogram french door counter depth. Have you purchased it yet? What kind of prices are you getting there in Fl? I don't know how to personally mail you so I guess this is the way to ask. Thanks for any information you can supply.
Have a nice day.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 11:01AM
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Hi msloane,

Yes, this is 100% true. Two companies, Amana & LG.

LG makes the GE bottom freezer models, and Amana makes all the rest...Whirlpool, Maytag, Viking, Kitchen Aid, JennAir, and obviously Amana.

FYI: LG has pretty bad service issues, I would always go with the Amana, or any of their made refrigerators.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 11:22AM
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Let's get this straight - Whirlpool owns Amana, not the other way around.

The confusion may stem from the Whirlpool-type bottom freezer fridges having their roots in an old Amana design. Amana has been owned by four companies in the last dozen years. #3 was Maytag, which discontinued most (all?) of Maytag's own refrigerators at that time in favor of Amana-derived versions. That's what Whirlpool inherited when they bought (what was left of) Maytag.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 1:20PM
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Thanks remodelfla, the list was really helpful to figure out who truly does make what appliance. I didn't see LG, SZ (except for the undercounter models) or Thermador mentioned in that list & sent a note to their webmaster.

I could have sworn the Thermador (pre-freedom series) were made by KA (and thus Whirlpool) so I can see how so much misconception can abound.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 11:19AM
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