Who Makes My Appliances?
Whether you like it or not, branding is everywhere. But your brand-matched kitchen appliances were probably made by multiple manufacturers.
If you’re like most consumers, you rely on your appliances every day and rarely give them a second thought unless something goes wrong. According to the U.S. Energy Information Association, essentially all of American homes have refrigerators (99.5 percent), and almost as many have microwave ovens (96 percent).
Factor in cooking surfaces, dishwashers and small appliances like toasters and blenders, and it’s no wonder that it’s nearly impossible to go a day without interacting with an appliance in one way or another.
Have you ever wondered who makes all those appliances? With such a large number of appliance brands and manufacturers, it’s not an easy question to answer. While we can’t give a truly comprehensive list, we rounded up a good guide to get you started.
A Quick Note on Brands and Licenses
The question of who manufacturers a given appliance seems straightforward on the surface. But the industry is filled with mergers, acquisitions and geographically-split licensing agreements.
Case in point: Although founded in California, the modern company Hotpoint is best known as a British manufacturer of appliances like stoves and washer/dryers. Hotpoint appliances sold in the U.S., Canada and Central and Latin America are manufactured by the Haier Group (a Chinese company), while Hotpoint appliances sold in the U.K. and Europe are manufactured by Whirlpool (an American company).
Similarly, some brands span multiple appliances. So a branded stove might be manufactured by one company, while the same brand’s blender is manufactured by a different company. So it’s possible the maker of a specific sub-brand will vary by type, year or geography.
Let’s jump in and take a look at some of the most popular appliance brands.
Who Manufactures GE Appliances?
GE Appliances describes itself as a “House of Brands,” including Monogram, Café, GE and GE Profile. Interestingly, it also lists Haier and Hotpoint as branding lines, although they’re actually owned by Haier. (GE Appliances was originally part of General Electric, which sold it to the Haier Group in 2016.)
Haier Group is one of the world’s major appliance manufacturers. In the U.S., it largely operates under the GE Appliances banner due to better name recognition of the GE brand.
Under Haier, GE Appliances are primarily manufactured in the U.S. More than 250 appliances bear the “Made in America” mark, indicating 70 to 90 percent U.S.-based products. GE Appliances employs more than 13,000 workers across five cities in the U.S., including their massive Louisville, Kentucky facility.
Who Manufactures Kenmore Appliances?
Kenmore is a brand name for appliances sold at Sears locations, and now some online retailers. Kenmore doesn’t manufacture any appliances; it outsources to dozens of different contractors. The Kenmore brand was sold during the 2018 Sears bankruptcy, but it essentially still functions as it had before the sale.
The first three numbers of a Kenmore appliance’s model number indicate the manufacturer. These digits are often larger than the rest of the model number, making them easier to identify.
To decipher who makes what, consult a manufacturer code sheet. These have been passed around among DIYers and appliance repair shops for decades, and are now widely available online. The full list contains dozens of entries, but here are some of the most common:
- Amana: 596;
- Whirlpool: 106, 110, 198, 665;
- GE: 363;
- Frigidaire: 790.
The manufacturer lists circulated on the internet don’t always agree, so if you’re curious about a specific Kenmore appliance, consult more than one list.
Who Manufactures Jenn-Air, Maytag, Whirlpool, Amana, Roper and KitchenAid?
Michigan-based Whirlpool is a major American appliance manufacturer. Founded in 1908 with 15 employees, it has grown into a massive corporation with $22 billion in annual sales and more than 69,000 employees across 54 manufacturing centers.
With its lengthy history and more than 15 brands beneath the Whirlpool banner, it’s almost a certainty you’ve owned or seen many Whirlpool products in your lifetime.
Who Manufactures Frigidaire, Tappan, Kelvinator and Gibson?
The Swedish company Electrolux isn’t quite as large as Whirlpool (52,000 employees), but it’s a massive company with a huge impact on appliances.
In 2021 Electrolux had sales of $11.6 billion, representing “approximately 60 million products in 120 markets every year.” Their brands include refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, vacuums, air conditioners and small appliances.
Electrolux’s strongest seller in the U.S. is the Frigidaire brand. As of 2018, Electrolux held a 16 percent market share of major appliances in North America.
Who Manufactures My Garbage Disposal?
Garbage disposals are one of the few appliances where the manufacturing breakdown is fairly simple. Almost all disposals in the U.S. come from one of three manufacturers.
Whirlpool made a major play in the garbage disposal world in August 2022 when it announced an agreement to acquire InSinkErator from Emerson in a $3 billion cash deal. (The deal is expected to close by the end of 2022.)
InSinkErator was the first company to bring garbage disposals to the U.S. market, almost 100 years ago. Today it’s the largest manufacturer in North America with about 70 percent of the market. It features the InSinkErator, Badger and Evolution lines, along with KitchenAid and Whirlpool.
Moen is another major player, making Moen branded disposals as well as Frigidaire and Waste King. All are manufactured by Anaheim Manufacturing, which Moen owns.
The third-largest player is Joneca, which makes garbage disposals by brands such as WasteMaid, Red Goat, Bonecrusher, EcoLogic and Commodore. Its disposals are distributed through Anaheim Marketing, which is unrelated to Anaheim Manufacturing. Because even when the manufacturer seems straightforward, there’s always a name or licensing agreement to keep things interesting!