New tariffs have sparked a trade war. Whether the USA will be fiscally better off as foreign governments invoke a quid pro quo strategy in counteractions remains to be seen. However, if all goes according to plan there will be some clear winners – American appliance manufacturers that produce domestically. These include Viking, Wolf, Whirlpool, Bluestar, and others.
As previously discussed, steel and aluminum from outside the US will have tariffs imposed to the tune of 25% and 10% respectively. LG and Samsung will have punitive tariffs on washers of 20% for the first 1.2 million and 50% on units thereafter. Consequently, companies manufacturing in the US using domestic steel and aluminum will have a huge advantage.
Foreign Brands Selling Appliances in the US
Currently, there are numerous companies, both foreign and domestic vying for the nearly $50 billion household appliance market. Numerous foreign companies import their products into the US market. These include:
Miele: The largest family-owned appliance company in the world, based in Cologne, Germany
LG: A South Korean multi-armed corporation manufacturing a broad cross-section of appliances and electronics.
Samsung: Another giant South Korean conglomerate who, with 19.5%, holds the largest market share in the US for home appliances.
La Cornue: Very high-end brand that specializes in custom-built ranges and hoods. They are owned by the American consortium, Middleby but are manufactured in France.
Bertazzoni: Luxury Italian brand that manufactures a full line of top-tier kitchen appliances.
American Appliance Brands Manufacturing Domestically
When it comes to undercutting competition at various price points, the odds would seem to favor American owned companies that produce in the US. These are:
Viking: Based out of Ohio and owned by Middleby. This company is already a market leader, with most of their products being produced in the US. However, their freestanding refrigerators are produced by Electrolux and their dishwashers are made by the Turkish owned and German-based Blomberg.
Whirlpool: A mid-range US-based appliance company which also owns Amana, and Maytag. On the higher end, Jenn-Air also falls under the Whirlpool umbrella. Whirlpool has 9 production plants across the East Coast and Midwest of the US and employs 28,000 Americans
BlueStar: Any list of American made and produced companies has to include Bluestar. This 138-year-old company has been manufacturing their cooking appliances out of Reading, Pennsylvania since 1880.
Circumventing The Tariffs
The aforementioned Samsung and LG have been making moves to bypass tariffs by increasing their manufacturing capabilities in the US. There are others, though, that already have large US-based manufacturing facilities and more are going to follow suit. Among the better known are:
Frigidaire: Owned by Swedish company Electrolux but, since 1990, has produced their dishwashers, refrigerators, and premium wine coolers in North Carolina and Minnesota.
Electrolux: A truly global brand. Best known for their laundry which is made in Juarez, Mexico. Cooking and refrigeration products are made in the US. However, their compact washer is made in Italian made and their dryer is Polish.
Bosch: A German company, but they run the largest dishwasher manufacturing facility worldwide in North Carolina.
Dacor: A famously high-end brand owned by Samsung. Their manufacturing operations are located in California.
Buying American manufactured products as opposed to imports will be an easier choice when the tariffs fully kick in. However, the likes of LG, Samsung, Bosch, and Frigidaire have already explored or begun opening up plants in the US and employing locals in order to circumvent many of these issues. No doubt other brands that have historically manufactured overseas will be considering the same.