As one of the most multicultural countries on earth, Australian homes are also filled with a number of small and major appliances from across the globe. You may be surprised to learn that many of the big name brands that we’re all familiar with in fact originate from distant shores. To see where your home appliances really come from, we’ve compiled a list of well-known brands and their country of origin.
Keep in mind, some of these brands may now be owned by a company from another country. But they all had to start somewhere…
Appliance Brands – Country of Origin
|Appliance Brand||Country of Origin|
|Fisher & Paykel||New Zealand|
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Read on for further details about the ownership and origin of the brands mentioned above.
About these appliance brands
Asko is a Swedish company, part of the Gorenje Group, producing a number of kitchen and laundry products. These include ovens, cooktops, rangehoods, dishwashers and fridges, while in the laundry space Asko offers both washers and dryers. You can expect many Asko appliances to now be made in Slovenia given that the Gorenje Group is a Slovenian whitegoods manufacturer.
Robert Bosch GmbH, more commonly known as ‘Bosch’, is a German multinational engineering and electronics company. It offers all types of appliances from ovens and dishwashers to washing machines and dryers, as well as hot water systems. Almost every range will boast an appliance made in Germany, but some appliances such as ovens and cooktops may be manufactured in Italy or Spain.
Breville is an Australian manufacturer of small home appliances, founded in Sydney. The first to create the original sandwich toaster, Breville also provides juicers and blenders, kettles and toasters, as well as fryers, microwaves and coffee machines.
The Italian brand DeLonghi manufactures a number of small appliances. It’s the parent company of two other brands including Braun and Kenwood. In the Delonghi range you can find coffee machines, kettles, portable heaters, ovens, cooktops, fridges, and more. Some of its ovens are boasted to be made in Italy, but it’s unclear whether all of its appliances are made in Southern Europe or not.
Dyson is a British technology company. While best known for its vacuum cleaners, Dyson also produces various haircare appliances, including hair dryers, as well as portable heaters and air treatments such as humidifiers. Until 2002, Dyson vacuums were made in Wiltshire, England. However, production has now been transferred to Malaysia and Singapore.
Swedish multinational home appliance manufacturer Electrolux also owns a number of other brands, including AEG, Chef, Dishlex, Kelvinator, Simpson, Westinghouse and Zanussi. You’ll find some of the company’s products, including fridges, washers and dryers made in Thailand. It’s not clear whether or not any appliances from these brands are still made in Europe or not.
Fisher & Paykel
Fisher & Paykel is a New Zealand appliance manufacturing company owned by Haier – a Chinese whitegoods manufacturer. Fisher & Paykel was purchased by Haier in 2012. It produces a range of appliances including ovens, cooktops and fridges, as well as washers and dryers. While manufacturing has ceased in New Zealand, its new products are stated to be designed in New Zealand. Some of Fisher & Paykel’s washing machines and dishwashers are stated to be made in China and Thailand, while other products are outsourced from countries including Mexico, China and Italy.
Chinese multinational brand Hisense manufactures a large range of major appliances and electronics, including fridges and TVs. It’s stated to have 13 manufacturing facilities in China and several outside of China, including Hungary, South Africa, Mexico, Egypt, Algeria and France.
Kelvinator is another brand owned by Electrolux, but it was founded in the United States, now offering fridges and air conditioning in the Australian market. Some products are made in Australia while others are imported from Europe, China and South-East Asia. The Kelvinator air conditioners, in particular, are stated to be manufactured in China.
LG is a South Korean multinational electronics company manufacturing products from air conditioners and TVs to washing machines and refrigerators. Some washing machines are said to be made in China, while some air conditioners are stated to be made in South Korea. LG’s primary production vendor for fridges and washers is stated to be in the Indian sub-continent.
German manufacturer Miele is well-known for selling high-end domestic appliances and commercial equipment. It manufactures all kinds of appliances including ovens, cooktops, coffee machines, fridges and washers. It has a total of 11 production centres in Europe, including Germany and Romania, with Miele vacuums, dishwashers and washer-disinfectors stated to be developed in Germany. In addition, Miele reportedly coordinates the production of an additional series of vacuums in China.
Panasonic is a Japanese multinational electronics company, manufacturing many appliances such as TVs, air conditioners and microwaves. Its current operations take place in Japan, Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Samsung is a South Korean multinational brand, producing a range of products including microwaves and dishwashers. Samsung’s Washer Dryer combos and fridges are said to be manufactured in South Korea. There are also some front load washing machines stated to be made in China, with certain fridge models made in Thailand. One Samsung curved TV model is also made in Vietnam.
Sharp is another Japanese multinational corporation, designing and manufacturing electronic products. There are 27 manufacturing operations across 26 countries. Some of its microwave ovens and fridges are said to be manufactured in Thailand and China. Taiwan is also an integral country for Sharp, now owned by the Foxconn Technology Group.
Originally, Simpson was based in Adelaide, Australia, for almost 100 years, but it’s now part of the Swedish Electrolux Group. Both of the Simpson washer and dryer ranges are stated to be made in Thailand – quite a popular holiday destination for many Aussies.
Smeg is a high-end domestic appliance manufacturer, founded in Italy. The company sells fridges, dishwashers, washing machines, ovens, and more. The design and manufacture of these products is concentrated in three locations across northern Italy. It operates 16 subsidiaries in countries including the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, South Africa, USA, Australia and Mozambique. Smeg also has offices in Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia.
The last Japanese multinational corporation in our list is Sony. It has a diverse range of products which include consumer electronics such as TVs, entertainment, gaming and financial services. Sony’s plants can be found in Japan, Mexico and Slovakia, with parts imported from Brazil, Spain, China, Malaysia and Ecuador.
TCL is a Chinese multinational electronics company, selling mobile phones, TVs and air conditioners, as well as washing machines and fridges. TCL operates across Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Northern and South America, and has 20 major manufacturing facilities. While the global company originated in 1981, TCL Australia was founded in 2004. According to Appliances Online, some of its LED TVs that are sold in Australia are made in China.
Vax deals with electrical goods and cleaning products in the floor-care and air treatment sectors, producing both vacuum cleaners and steam mops. The company has its headquarters in the UK but is owned by a Chinese company called Techtronic Industries Co Ltd. Vax branded products are said to be manufactured in China, while the research and development centre is located in England.
The last brand in our list is Westinghouse, an American home appliance company, acquired by the Electrolux group in 1986. It offers products including fridges, microwaves, cooktops, dishwashers and ovens. While some products are stated to be manufactured in Australia, including its ovens, others are imported from Europe, China and South-East Asia. In particular, some fridges are claimed to be from Thailand and some dishwashers from Turkey. Westinghouse freezers, cooktops and rangehoods are made in China.
Does it matter if your appliances are foreign-made?
The perception is often that appliances made in Europe and Australia will be superior to those made in Asia or other parts of the world. This is, at least in part, down to the marketing of some companies that like to promote the origin of some products, but less so others. You’ll often read or hear about products being made in Italy or Germany, but these same companies seem less inclined to promote their goods as Chinese-made, for example.
Knowing where your whitegoods actually come from – and where you money is going – is important to many Australians, especially if you want to support the local market. However, it’s wise not to judge the quality of an appliance purely on where it was made. There is no reason why appliances made in India or Thailand, for example, can’t be as good as those made in places like the UK or Sweden. Try to judge each case, and brand, on its own merit, and find out what other Aussie consumers think about the appliances they own and use before jumping to any conclusion.