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Maytag Takes Top-Load Lead: NPD

3/08/2011 10:44:11 AM Eastern

Clyde, Ohio - Whirlpool's
Maytag Centennial and Bravos X top-load washers are the two best-selling models
in the hotly contested category.

According to January data
from The NPD Group, Centennial (MVWC400XW) is the top-selling top-load washer
in the U.S., followed by its Bravos X (MVWX500XW) production mate, which is No.
2 in sales.

High-efficiency top-load
washers have become one of the fastest-growing majap categories now that
capacity and water and energy consumption are rivaling those of front-load
configurations. The latter are also prone to vibration, industry observers say,
and have been more heavily price-promoted than the newer top-load models.

Both Maytag-brand models
are manufactured on a shared production line that was launched at the vendor's
laundry facility here last summer. Due to improved production efficiencies, the
platform's 1 millionth washer was recently assembled just 35 weeks after
production began, compared with previous product launches that have taken three
to five times longer to reach the same milestone.

"We removed an assembly
line that had been producing thousands of units a day for more than a quarter
of a century and re-built it from the ground up," said Alan Holaday,
Whirlpool's North America manufacturing operation VP.

The manufacturing line
also produces Maytag's newest Maxima front-load washer (MHW7000X), which uses
about 12 gallons of water per load compared with the 40 gallons used just 10
years ago by typical top-load models.