In a spate of trans-Pacific OEM announcements, Maytag said it has forged a strategic alliance with Korean appliance rival Samsung, while Whirlpool has struck a dishwasher partnership with New Zealand's Fisher & Paykel.
Under the terms of the Maytag deal, Samsung will initially produce front-load washers under the Maytag and Amana brands to be sold later this year through Maytag's regular distribution channels domestically and abroad. Maytag will also continue to manufacture laundry products in the United States.
According to Maytag chairman/CEO Ralph Hake, the pact will leverage Samsung's "laundry and electronics knowledge and world-class manufacturing capability," and will serve as a basis for discussions about other potential business cooperation.
Meanwhile, Whirlpool will begin selling a Whirlpool-branded version of Fisher & Paykel's integrated double DishDrawer dishwashers, representing the first fruits of a strategic alliance announced last year. Initial shipments of the units, which will offer differentiated features and styling, are slated to begin during the latter part of the year.
Fisher & Paykel will continue to sell its own branded line of the ultra-thin dishwashers throughout the U.S.