German automobiles are known for their engineering excellence, and the high-style appliances made by Miele are no different. Miele is the US arm of Miele & Cie., which has been run by the Miele family (now in its fourth generation) since it was founded in 1899. The company operates about 10 showrooms across America, but its products are sold nationwide through specialty appliance stores and online retailers. Miele makes dishwashers, refrigerators, wine storage, coffee makers, ovens, cooktops, ventilation hoods, washing machines, dryers, vacuums, and professional-grade appliances. It also offers laundry detergents and dishwashing tablets. The US-based subsidiary was established in 1984.
Miele maintains a premium-price strategy despite woes in the economy and a stalled housing market in the US. The global appliance company produces more than 60% of its own product components and focuses on quality rather than price; its production lines are located in Germany. While it doesn't anticipate raising prices for now, Miele has seen raw material costs rise in recent years.
To extend its reach, the company has begun to offer built-in versions of its kitchen appliances and has concentrated on developing its new growth engine: smart grid products that are used at the most economical time. It's also looking to fast-growing markets in countries such as Korea, where it has logged a 30% increase in sales. Through 2014, the company anticipates steady growth in Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Miele doesn't consider Samsung and LG to be direct competitors because it targets a high-end market segment.
Miele doesn't rely on major retailers or discounts to sell its line. Even the company's showrooms don't have products for sale. The showrooms employ professional chefs, so interior designers and potential customers can use the products and watch demonstrations and presentations. The company has a strong reputation as a luxury brand thanks to customers such as Donald Trump, who outfitted his multi-million dollar condo tower in Hollywood, Florida, with Miele appliances. – less