What is the future for Viking Refrigerators?
Viking Corp was recently purchased by Middleby. I have read downsizing by the new owners has already begun at the Greenwood, MS plant: no more 60" Viking ranges, more limited colors, layoffs, some appliance street talk discussion of refrigerator line.
The Viking refrigerator is built in its own plant, with interiors based on Whirlpool design, similar to Kitchen Aid and JennAir (Kitchen Aid high end). Volume of annual Viking refrigerator sales is less than Kitchen Aid refrigerators. As far as I know (please correct) the Viking Whirlpool based interiors (condenser, fluids, fan, lining) is not an Amana boondoggle purchase left over.
Having looked at all three with my appliance dealer, the exterior finish of the Viking is most attractive to me. Pictures of handles are below. A magnet placed on the Viking stuck; while on two different KA sizes, the 48" did not but the 36" did if that helps you. I'm buying a 36".
To me, it's not just about finish but it helps to have a remarkable finish when talking stainless. But function over form, in spite of the interior Whirlpool similarity, is winning when I think through this: KA/JA are built in volume which improves QA, but not customer service. With the take over and downsizing already having begun, one legitimately wonders about the future of Viking refrigeration and QA, servicing and customer service in spite of warranty extension.
My gut says stick with KA/JA for my CD 36" purchase. I don't like the JA Pro knobby handles, however. My current refrigerator is an old KA-never had a serious problem Any thoughts? The Liebherr 36" refrigerator is not freestanding and I need that feature. Thanks.
Viking Refrigerator, finish and handles
Kitchen Aid brushed refrigerator handle
Jenn Air Pro handle:
Here is a link that might be useful: link: