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Bye-bye, GE Appliances

Posted by hvtech42 (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 22, 14 at 12:36

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-16/ge-said-in-talks-with-suitors-to-sell-iconic-appliances-business.html

I'm surprised, after all that money was poured into the new American factories and the R&D for the new products built in them. Hopefully whoever buys them will not move that production offshore. GE has never held the record for most appliances made in the USA, but there aren't many American appliances manufacturers left and it would be a shame to see them go.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

This is easier

Gary

Here is a link that might be useful: Bye Bye GE


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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

They realized about six seven years ago when they tried to sell they had to put money into the appliance division to get the money they want for it. It will be interesting to see if they are willing to let the buyer use "GE" or the meatball logo since that was not part of the sale the last time they tried to sell it. If not they are just buying manufacturing plants.


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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

It really would be an ideal way for a foreign manufacturer to get their foot in the door to the US market. They've got a brand everyone recognizes (though as tjmwine points out that may not transfer), they've got the factories, they've got the market expertise, and they have their own in-house service operation.

Manufacturers rumored to be interested are:

Haier

Mabe (large appliance manufacturer in Mexico. They have been business partners with GE since the 80s and currently make the gas ranges)

Electrolux

LG

Samsung


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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

The deed has been done.

Here is a link that might be useful: Electrolux takes on Whirlpool in U.S. with $3.3 billion GE Appliances buy


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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

Use of the GE brand will be part of the sale, but so what? We all know what happens when one brand is bought out by another - the old brand is replaced by the rebadged versions of products made by the new brand. In a few years, "GE" appliances will be Electrolux appliances with differently shaped knobs and control panels to fool casual shoppers into thinging they're different. Look what happened to Maytag after they were bought by Whirlpool - whether it's refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, or washing machines, you can barely tell them apart, especially from the inside. Consumers will figure out what's happened when they call GE for info or service only to be told "we don't do that stuff anymore, call Electrolux".

I'm not sure the two companies put together will automatically equal the size of each of them separately but combined, as economic news agencies are estimating. In time, people will notice the similarities and think of all the brands as variations on the same thing, especially since they're likely to be sold at the same stores. Eventually they will drop the weaker brands (I don't expect Hotpoint will survive long). It will be like General Motors who eventually realized their Buicks, Oldsmobiles, and Pontiacs were competing for the same customers and had to discontinue the latter two.

Renting out a major company's brand name like GE can be risky too. Sure, you'll make a ton of money on licensing, but it also means most people's impressions of GE will come from products made by other companies out of their control. GE sold off their small appliances business (toasters, blenders, etc.) to Black & Decker years ago, but didn't include the GE brand that time, and the GE brand disappeared from those products for a long time. But then someone realized it would be easier to sell cheap Chinese toasters if the GE brand was on them and they licensed the brand, and people who bought them now think GE makes junky stuff (B&D also eventually sold their small-appliance business they bought from GE, but continues to license the name to another company). Likewise for consumer electronics like clock-radios and TV sets, only those were bought by a French company, but the quality still plummeted. Are General Electric-branded TV sets even still sold?

Will GE sell their lighting division next? Or is lighting a sacred cow at GE? Light bulbs were the first product they sold, and maybe the first thing people think of when they think of GE. That may actually goad them into wanting to sell it.


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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

This is a market share grab as much as anything.

Electrolux has been investing in new factories in the U.S. for the past several years, so they don't really need that.

With 50% of their business coming from North and S.America, it makes sense to kill your competition if you can easily afford it.

This also makes them stronger against their global competitors like Bosch, Haier and Whirlpool here in the USA.

For GE, they get out of a stagnant business with low margins, and one in which they were not one of the big dogs / cool kids. They'll focus on energy, heavy industry and finance.


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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

GE's appliance division was profitable (in stark contrast to Maytag when Whirlpool bought them out). The real issue seemed to be that GE's appliance sales were strong only in North America, whereas their competitors were strong worldwide. They knew economies of scale were working against them unless they went on an acquisition binge or expansion overseas, and both would be expensive, and all for a business that GE considers a sideline by now. GE today is mainly a financial services company, consulting, aircraft engines, health care, and other non-consumer businesses that are far bigger than appliances.

Still, I've always thought it's a good idea for huge conglomerates to have a few consumer-facing businesses, to help keep them in the public consciousness which I always though benefitted stock prices. GE is one of the world's most recognized consumer brands, and they're throwing 100+ years of building that away.


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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

I'm not so sure this can be likened to the Maytag/Whirlpool takeover. Maytag was in much worse financial shape than GE Appliances. Their products either had serious durability issues (tall tub DW's, Amanatags, Samsung built Neptunes, etc.) or were too expensive to build (Newton Neptunes/Dependable Cares). Note that their cooking products and bottom freezer refrigerators which did not fit into either of those categories, were the things Whirlpool kept. In fact, Whirlpool closed some of their OWN cooking and refrigeration plants in favor of Maytag's. Unlike Maytag, GE has come out with tons of new products in the past 2 years and invested a lot in their plants.

>Electrolux has been investing in new factories in the U.S. for the past several years, so they don't really need that.

What factories? Yes there is that new cooking plant to replace the one in Canada but that was mostly paid for by the City of Memphis and was purely due to corporate greed as wages will be much lower in Memphis than they were in Quebec. Other than that... All they've done is close plants! Between the Gibson refrigerator plant in Greenville MI and the laundry plant in Webster City IA thousands of American jobs have been lost thanks to Electrolux in the past 10 years. The dishwasher plant in Kinston NC is probably going to be closed as well since they decided to import their new line from Italy instead of investing here. I have read that Electrolux has a big interest in GE's line of french door refrigerators, which makes sense as Electrolux has had tons of trouble with their own. They are also interested in GE's conventional agitator top load washers.

I agree that the primary motivator of this was to knock down competition and grab market share, but I don't think it's going to be so simple as laying off all the GE employees, closing the headquarters/factories and slapping the GE badge on Electrolux products.

I'm curious to see what they do with GE, but I am not happy about this at all. We already had so few options for solid, MASS-MARKET manufacturers. Today there are too many brand names and not enough unique companies and designs. They all look the same. The only way to truly get options anymore is to go high end.


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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

.... or by from obscure-in-the-US brands like Smeg, Ilve, or Fagor (if they survive) that offer items the major brands don't bother with, or whoever builds appliances for Summit and the like.

I feel like a sucker buying Maytag appliances nowadays, and will probably feel the same way about GE soon. Like I, the consumer, am too ignorant to realize the famous brand name I'm paying extra for has nothing to do with the company making it now. I avoided KitchenAid dishwashers for years - why pay extra for a glorified Whirlpool d/w trading on the good reputation they earned when they were built by Hobart using a completely different design? - but I have to admit the higher-end KitchenAid dishwashers have become really good in the last few years.

So Whirlpool is the only full-line American appliance manufacturer left? There are a few small or specialty manufacturers that specialize in one market like Dacor or Alliance/Speed Queen, but is there anyone else that makes their own cooking, refrigeration, and cleaning appliances in the USA?


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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

>is there anyone else that makes their own cooking, refrigeration, and cleaning appliances in the USA?

As far as I know, yes, Whirlpool and GE are the only ones that currently fit that bill. Electrolux and Bosch would have a few years ago, but the former sent their laundry to Mexico and the latter discontinued their full size US made laundry.


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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

To me it makes no difference whether they're made in Canada or here. I highly doubt that the new US made ovens will be any cheaper than the Canadian made ones, actually they will probably be more expensive. But some people seem to be making a big deal about how great Electrolux is for moving and creating US jobs, and how it makes up for all their moves to Mexico, I'm not saying it's BAD (though I'd probably feel differently if I were Canadian) just trying to point out that that it is nothing to feel warm and fuzzy about and they did it is to save on payroll just like all their other moves.

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Tue, Sep 9, 14 at 9:45


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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

I don't understand the love of Electrolux appliances. In almost every line they have had problems. Just look at the complaint threads in this forum. Most still liking them are short timers. In my opinion your big bucks are going for feature ladings not quality. As for Maytag, I think their dishwashers are the best of any made by Whirlpool. Maybe I am mistaken but all the others seem to be trying to copy European designs.


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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

^Just look at the complaint threads on this forum about EVERY brand. One poster has had three Electrolux products for several years with no problems. Their ovens and cooktops are among the best on the market. Their front load washers are great also. Their fridge/freezer columns are an excellent value.

This post was edited by hvtech42 on Wed, Sep 10, 14 at 17:13


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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

I''ve had an Elux oven, speed oven and wine fridge for over 8 years now, Not a single problem with any of them.

I've had the Elux Icon induction cooktop for over 5 years now, and nary a problem.

Where Elux did have problems was with their refrigeration, their Hybrid induction cooktops, and induction ranges.

Were it not for Elux, you would not see the smooth fully gliding out racks that are now popular on other ovens, yet this was standard, (3 of them) on the Electrolux Icon ovens.
You still pay extra for these on Wolf, Miele and you pay about double for the Wolf and Miele ovens vs the Elux.

Gary


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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

So, should i still buy GE?


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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

Sure, GE has improved quality greatly, even in high efficiency laundry. It will take a while for the change over, Electrolux will still honor warranties. I have and still recommend GE products.I'm not in the heads of the people at Electrolux but I bet they will still continue GE's strategy of American made products. I think getting GE appliances out of company that has it's hand in too many pots to a company that specializes and wants too, in appliances will be a good thing.


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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

If I was in charge, I would advise Electrolux to extend all GE Appliance warranties immediately. Hard to imagine anything else would show a higher future customer commitment.


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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

SZ / Wolf still manuf. domestically and can sell you everything except a dishwasher.

I think most GE labeled appliances will disappear within a decade.

Elux might keep the brand for cheap entry level ormore likely the Monogram line to compete with SZ, Miele, ect... It'll be easier to gussy up that division than start new or ease Electrolux into that position.


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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

Perhaps, but as for brandgin, this from the NY Times article:

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/09/08/electrolux-to-buy-g-e-appliances-business-for-3-3-billion/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

"The deal will combine Electrolux’s Frigidaire, one of the best-known brands of refrigerators, with G.E.’s stable of products, including its Monogram line of luxury appliances. As part of the deal, Electrolux has reached a long-term agreement to continue to use the G.E. Appliances brand names."

-Bob


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RE: Bye-bye, GE Appliances

Frigidaire will be their low end brand, GE will be their midline, Electrolux will be their high end. Most likely they will continue production of GE's french door fridges in favor of their own as well as top load laundry. However I have no idea what they will do with the rest of the GE products. Electrolux just built a new factory for cooking, GE just did a huge expensive renovation of theirs. GE also did a huge renovation of their dishwasher factory, while Electrolux started importing a new line of dishwashers from Italy.


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