Maytag

Maytag

Maytag Corporation was a $4.7 billion home and commercial appliance company, headquartered in Newton, Iowa from 1893-2006. With approximately 18,000 employees worldwide, it made and sold appliances.

The Whirlpool Corp. completed its acquisition of Maytag on April 1, 2006. In May 2006, Whirlpool announced plans to close the former Maytag headquarters office in Newton, as well as laundry manufacturing plants in Newton, Iowa, Herrin, Illinois and Searcy, Arkansas by 2007. Following the Maytag closure, all administration will be in Whirlpool's headquarters in Benton Harbor, Michigan. The Maytag name will still be used on rebranded Whirlpool appliances, however most Maytag employees will be terminated, as some were offered jobs in Benton Harbor. The board of directors of Maytag and CEO (a former Whirlpool executive), all received five years severance pay.

Chronology

Year Event
1893 Frederick Louis Maytag arrived in Iowa by covered wagon. F.L., his two brothers-in-law, and George W. Parsons each contributed $600 for a total of $2,400 to start a new farm implement company named Parsons Band-Cutter & Self Feeder Company. They produced threshing machines, band-cutters, and self-feeder attachments invented by Parsons.
1893 Threshing machine-related injuries were all too common and a strong need for a safer threshing machine was present. The company successfully met this need by developing a threshing machine feeder, a device which fed straw more safely into the threshing cylinder.
1902 The company was the largest feeder manufacturer in the world, and by 1904, the Ruth was the most popular model.
1905 Maytag introduced the Success Corn Husker and Shredder.
1907 Maytag's first washing machine, the "Pastime", was produced. F.L. Maytag decided to produce these machines during the periods of seasonal related downturns in the farm implement sales. The "Pastime" washers utilized a wooden tub. A dolly was turned by a hand crank via wooden pegs. This turning action would pull clothes through the water and force the clothes along the corrugated tub sides producing cleaning action. A pulley device was provided to the machine allowing it to be operated from an outside power source such as a tractor or windmill.
1911 A model of the Pastime with an electric motor was unveiled.
1915 Maytag developed its Multi-Motor gasoline engine washer. This allowed customers in rural areas without electricity to utilize the automatic washers.
1919 The first aluminum washer tub was produced by Maytag. Prior to this, it had been believed in the industry that aluminum tub washers could not be built. This aluminum tub proved to have numerous advantages over the wooden tub, which had issues with leaking and rotting.
1920 L. B. Maytag, son of the company's founder, began serving as company president.
1922 Howard Snyder invented the vaned agitator. The agitator is placed inside the tub and mounted in the bottom of the tub. The concept was that instead of washboarding or dragging the clothes, they would be gently agitated. Maytag first introduced this new washer, the Gyrafoam, and became exclusively an appliance company.
1924 By 1924, one of every five washing machines were made by Maytag in Newton, IA.
1924 Maytag introduced its first iron.
1925 Maytag was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
1926 The company was now headed by Elmer Henry Maytag, another son of F.L. Maytag.
1926 On October 12, five trainloads packed full with Maytag Washers were shipped out to the country. At this time, it was the world's largest single shipment of merchandise. Maytag broke their own record in May of 1927, and shipped out eight trainloads.
1927 Maytag had produced over a million washers.
1929 Maytag realized earnings of $6,838,883.00, a pre-war high. Maytag also survived the Great Depression without having a loss for any year.
1934 Maytag begins production of Maytag Toy Racer automobiles on October 11.
1940 E. H. Maytag died and his son, Frederick Louis Maytag II (grandson of F.L. Maytag), became Maytag's head at the age of 29.
1941 Maytag Toy Racer production ends on December 1. During World War II Maytag no longer produced washing machines and instead concentrated on the war effort. From 1941 to 1945, Maytag made design improvements on and manufactured special components for military airplanes. These parts were used in sixteen different types of combat aircraft, including the B-29 Super Fortress, the B-17 Flying Fortress, B-26 Marauder, and the P-51 Mustang.
1946 The war ended and washing machine manufacturing was geared back up in Newton, IA. Maytag began selling ranges and refrigerators.
1948 Maytag's plant number two was opened in Newton, IA. This facility manufactured Maytag's first automatic washers, the "AMP", introduced that year. This was the start of a new age in washing machines for Maytag.
1951 The Korean War was underway, and Maytag built parts for tanks and other military equipment alongside the washing machines.
1953 Maytag introduced its first automatic dryer.
1954 Maytag's first television advertisement was aired.
1958 Maytag introduced the commercial coin-slide washers used in laundromats.
1961 Maytag's corporate headquarters building was dedicated.
1962 Upon the death of F. L. Maytag II, George M. Unibreit became chairman of the board and chief executive officer, and E.G. Higdon was named president. The company would never again be led by a Maytag family member.
1966 Maytag produced its first line of portable dishwashers. Additionally licensed its first Maytag home appliance center.
1967 Character actor Jesse White appears in the first "Maytag Repairman" TV commercial.
1972 Daniel L. Krumm succeeded E.G. Higdon as Maytag president and treasurer, and two years later he was named chief executive officer.
1975 Maytag introduced Maytag-equipped home style laundries.
1981 Maytag acquired Hardwick Stove Company.
1983 Maytag discontinued production of wringer washers, after 76 years.
1985 Maytag introduced the first ever stacked washer/dryer.
1986 The Maytag Company became the Maytag Corporation. It acquired Magic Chef, and started selling a full line of appliances.
1987 Maytag Corporation added a line of front-loading commercial washers.
1989 Maytag acquired the Hoover Company.
1989 Gordon Jump first appears as The Maytag Repairman.
1991 Maytag contracted with Montgomery Ward & Co. for the exclusive use of the Admiral brand (acquired in the Magic Chef acquisition) on its consumer electronic goods. (Admiral would later become exclusive to Home Depot after the Whirlpool Corporation purchased Maytag).
1992 Maytag began manufacturing of dishwashers in Jackson, Tennessee.
Hoover Europe began Hoover free flight promotion.
End of Hoover free flight promotion. 1994 Hoover introduced the first SteamVac extractors.
1997 Maytag introduced a high-efficiency washer, the Maytag Neptune.
2001 Maytag acquired Amana.
2005 Maytag became the subject of a takeover battle between a private investment group in the United States (Ripplewood), a three party group comprised of Blackstone, Baird and Haier Corporation, a Chinese appliance manufacturer, and the Whirlpool Corporation. On December 22, Maytag stockholders agreed to sell Maytag to Whirlpool, ending Maytag's 112-year history as an independent company.
2006 On March 31, Whirlpool Corp. completed its acquisition of Maytag and began integrating the two appliance companies.
2007 Clay Earl Jackson becomes the new Maytag repairman featured in advertising campaigns. During this year, Maytag also celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Pastime washing machine by releasing the Centennial Washer and Dryer pair.

Owned brands

Products

In major appliances, Maytag was among the top three companies in the North American market, offering a full line of washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, cooktops, refrigerators, and ranges under the brand names Maytag, Hoover, Jenn-Air, Amana, Dixie-Narco, and Jade.

Maytag sold multiple small appliances including a cordless iron under the Maytag brand, a mixer and blender under the Jenn-Air, as well as the popular Skybox and Rookie home vending products.

In floor care, Maytag owned the Hoover brand, the market leader in North America and the floor care brand with the highest consumer recognition and buying preference.

In commercial products, Maytag owned Dixie-Narco, a leader in refrigerated soft drink and specialty vending machines as well as Jade cooking products and Amana commercial cooking products.

Maytag had presence in markets around the world, including sales operations in Australia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom. The corporation's export sales and marketing, licensing of brands, and international joint ventures was coordinated by Maytag International in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Maytag International

In 1988, DOMICOR was established as Maytag Corporation's international division and in 1992 became Maytag International, Inc. which eventually encompassed all of Maytag's worldwide ventures including Maytag Australia, Maytag Canada, Maytag Commercial (Mexico), and Maytag UK.

Maytag International, was based in Schaumburg, Illinois, handled the sales, licensing and business ventures of corporate appliances and floorcare brands in overseas markets as well as the administrative support for the international sales organization. This network extended to more than 70 countries worldwide.

Maytag International was responsible for export sales and licensing of the corporation's appliances and floor care brands and joint ventures in overseas markets. This network extends to more than 90 countries worldwide. The main office is located in Chicago with major subsidiary offices in Burlington, Ontario (Canada), Monterrey (Mexico), Sydney (Australia), and London (England) and region sales offices in Beirut (Lebanon), London (England), and Guaynabo (Puerto Rico).

Manufacturing plants

At the time of being acquired, Maytag had fourteen (14) manufacturing plants throughout the United States and Mexico. These include:

Ol' Lonely

Ol' Lonely, or "the lonely repairman", is a character in Maytag advertisements, created for Maytag by the Leo Burnett advertising agency. He was initially played by Jesse White, beginning in 1967. Ol' Lonely is representative of the professed dependability of Maytag products. Maytag advertisements stated “Ol' Lonely’s predicament is testimony to the durability and reliability of Maytag appliances. Now if only he had something to do with his days.”

In 1986, the repairman was joined by Newton, a basset hound named for Maytag’s headquarters in Newton, Iowa. In 1989, character actor Gordon Jump first appeared as Ol' Lonely in the advertisement “Biker.” In total, Jump appeared in more than 77 Maytag commercials and print advertisements. He made appearances at events for employees and customers and also was actively involved in several philanthropic and charitable causes.

Actor Hardy Rawls was hired to play Ol' Lonely after Jump's retirement in 2003, although he appeared only in print advertising and personal appearances. Gordon Jump died two months later on September 22 2003. In French-speaking Quebec, Ol' Lonely was played by Paul Berval. For a period of time Maytag gave Ol' Lonely a younger sidekick character known as the 'Maytag Apprentice', played by actor Mark Devine. However, in 2005 Maytag cancelled his contract. Maytag also elected not to renew Rawls' contract, instead holding open auditions. Indianapolis Colts backup quarterback Jim Sorgi was among those who auditioned. On April 2 2007, Maytag announced that Clay Earl Jackson of Richmond, Virginia had been selected to fill the role of Ol' Lonely.

The "Maytag repairman" has become a commonly-used metaphor for a professional whose services are rarely needed, such as "Most people in town now have their own cars, making the local bus driver like the Maytag repairman."

Settlements

Neptune Front-Load Washers

Models included were MAH3000AWW and MAH4000AWW. The settlement alleges that owners of Maytag Neptune washing machines have claims concerning the door latch, wax motor, motor control and related circuit board failures, causing the machines to function improperly, and users to experience odor and mildew. Consumers were offered either a cash refund, rebate certificate, purchase certificate, and/or free repairs.

Recalls

Maytag and Jenn-Air Dishwashers

Models affected MDB3, MDB4, MDB5, MDB6, MDB7, MDB8, MDB9, MDBD, MDC3, MDC4, MDC5, DWU9, JDB3, JDB4, JDB5, JDB6, JDB7. The recall involves Maytag and Jenn-Air under counter or portable plastic tub dishwashers. The dishwashers have black, white, almond, bisque and stainless steel front panels. The model and serial numbers are printed on a label located on the dishwasher's plastic frame on top of or to the left of the door opening. Liquid rinse-aid can leak from its dispenser and come into contact with the dishwasher's internal wiring which can short-circuit and ignite, posing a fire hazard. Customers are being offered a free in-home repair or certificate towards a purchase of a new dishwasher. Consumers should contact Maytag to determine if their dishwasher is included in this recall.

Jenn-Air Pro-Style Downdraft Cooktop

Model JGD8348CDP. The recall included only built-in Jenn-Air model JGD8348CDP downdraft gas cooktops. They have serial numbers xxxxxxxxEA through xxxxxxxxER. The cooktops were manufactured by Maytag between January 1 and September 17 2004. The model name and serial number are printed on a label on the vent fan housing, which is visible in the cabinet under the cooktop. The recalled cooktops have switches located too close to the gas tubing leading to the grill burner. Electrical arcing can cause this tubing to leak gas and ignite, resulting in a fire hazard to consumers. Consumers are offered a free, in-home repair.

Maytag Front-Loading Washers

Models affected are MAH9700 and MAH8700, with serial numbers ending with GA, GC, GE, GG, GJ, GN, GP, GR, GT, GV, GX, JA, JC, JE, JG, JJ, JL, JN. The washers were sold around April 2005. Hazard: Water leakage into the electrical connections to the thermal sensor that could cause an electrical short and ignite a circuit board, creating a fire hazard. What is offered to the customers is a kit. Included is what is called a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. Acting like a surge protector, the GFCI simply plugs into the outlet being used by the washer, allowing for the GFCI to trip and prevent an overload.

References

See also

External links

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