Maytag: What’s All The Fuss?

We’ll tell you what all the fuss is about. There aren’t very many truly iconic brands and related characters. One of these, indisputably, is the Maytag Repairman. Almost Mickey Mouse, and since he is a business trademark, he doesn’t even need special copyright extensions from the US Congress to live forever like Mickey does.

So, when Maytag closes their flagship factory in Iowa, the US media cries “Maytag’s Gone!”. The truth is somewhat less dramatic. Just as their automobile making brethren, Maytag is a victim of buyout [Whirlpool owns them] and looming foreign competition [very, very late to the party, LG from Korea is just one example].

Truly tragic, but if you really do care, then exclusively buy more expensive American Made products. ‘Nuff said!


A Brief History of Maytag Corp.
Oct. 25, 2007, 3:18PM
© 2007 The Associated Press

— A history of Maytag Corp.

1893 _ Maytag founded in Newton as a farm implement manufacturer.

1907 _ Fred Maytag introduces the Maytag wooden tub washing machine.

1911 _ Maytag introduces its first electric washing machine.

1924 _ One of every five American washers bought is a Maytag.

1941-45 _ Maytag suspends appliance manufacturing to make aircraft parts for the war effort.

1946 _ Maytag begins making ranges and refrigerators.

1948 _ Maytag introduces automatic washers.

1953 _ Maytag makes its first automatic dryers.

1966 _ Maytag introduces its first portable dishwashers.

1967 _ The Maytag Lonely Repairman makes his debut.

1982 _ Acquisition of Jenn-Air, which makes ovens and cooktops.

1983 _ Maytag stops making wringer washers.

1986 _ Acquisition of Magic Chef, maker of commercial microwave ovens, including subsidiary Dixie-Narco, which makes vending machines.

1989 _ Acquisition of Hoover Co., which makes vacuum cleaners.

1997 _ Acquisition of Vermont-based Blodgett Corp., commercial ovens and frying equipment.

1999 _ Maytag acquires the Jade-Dynasty brands of commercial cooking, refrigeration and laundry equipment.

2001 _ Maytag sells Blodgett and acquires Iowa-based Amana Refrigeration, maker of freezers, refrigerators, ovens and microwave ovens.

2004 _ Maytag operates 12 manufacturing plants in the United states; Maytag’s appliance division opens its first manufacturing plant outside the United States in Reynosa, Mexico, where it already has sub-assembly operations. Maytag completes the closing of its refrigerator factory in Galesburg, Ill., a plant, which at one time provided 1,600 of the region’s highest-paying jobs.

2005 _ Maytag profits fall and the company launches a restructuring plan that cuts 1,100 salaried workers.

_ April: Analysts question the viability of Maytag Corp. as the appliance maker’s stock opened at its lowest level in more than a decade. Maytag stock plunges 7.7 percent to close at $10.05.

_ May: Maytag agrees to be bought for $1.13 billion by a group of investors led by Ripplewood Holdings LLC, a deal that prompts a bidding battle for the company.

_ June: Chinese appliance manufacturer Haier America offers $1.28 billion, but withdraws when Whirlpool offers $1.37 billion. Whirlpool increases its offer three times to $1.79 billion. Including assumption of debt, the deal is valued at $2.7 billion. Maytag accepts and Ripplewood pulls out of the bidding.


_ March: Antitrust regulators approve sale of Maytag to Whirlpool.

_ May: Whirlpool announces plans to close the Maytag corporate headquarters and the Newton factory that made washers and dryers.

_ September: Whirlpool has announced plans to “revitalize” the Maytag brand with a barrage of new Maytag products. Company officials also said they plan to keep Maytag’s lonely repairman calling him “one of the best-known advertising icons.”

_ December: Iowa Telecom and Des Moines Area Community College announce plans to take over several former Maytag buildings while others would be demolished.


_ Oct. 25: The last day of production of Maytag washers and dryers at the Newton factory.


Lesson: Don’t Mess With Success

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