If you want a high-end, European-made washer or dryer, the pickings just got a little slimmer.
Miele, a German company famous for manufacturing high-end appliances with prices to match, announced to their authorized retailers in May that they are discontinuing all full-size, 27-inch washers and dryers made for the North American market, according to the Yale Appliance blog. Their 24-inch, European-style compact washers and dryers will continue to be imported to North America from factories in Germany and the Czech Republic.
Though Miele’s full-size laundry appliances sell for upwards of $2,000 and lack some of their competitors' modern style, they still enjoy a loyal following in the US. That’s partially due to their direct supervision of the entire manufacturing process, including production of all components in their appliances.
Miele’s washing machines also benefit from a unique honeycomb drum design that ensures all loads float on a layer of water at all times. The company says that makes their washers safe for cleaning silk, mohair, angora and other fragile fabrics.
One fan was the late Steve Jobs, who praised his Miele washer and dryer in an interview with Wired magazine way back in 1996. “I got more thrill out of them than I have out of any piece of high tech in years,” he said.
Miele’s announcement follows Bosch’s semi-exit from the US market last year. The latest washers and dryers in their Vision line were discontinued after barely a year on sale in the US, much to the surprise of consumers, and despite solid performance in our tests at WasherDryerInfo.com, especially from the WTVC5330US dryer. Currently, Bosch only offers their Axxis line of compact European-style washers and dryers.
We’re especially disappointed about Miele’s sudden announcement, as a Touchtronic washer (W4802) and dryer (T9802) just recently arrived in our labs, ready for in-depth evaluations. We’ll still let you know how they perform in our scientific tests, though it’ll be up to you to track one down.
UPDATE, July 9, 2012:
We heard back from Miele spokesperson Julie McCrary, who confirmed that the W 4802, W 4842, T 9802 and T 9822 are being discontinued, while the rest of the "European size" lineup will remain.