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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Year That Was 2014

W.L. May Portland
Our New Home In Portland
It's the last day of the 2014. We at W.L. May are enjoying the end of the year and ringing in 2015 with our loved ones. As the year winds down, it seems like a good time to look at the year that was.

Some positive developments for the appliance industry occurred over the course of the year, The United States major appliance makers all made announcements about expanding technical training and moving more manufacturing onshore from foreign sites.

The year began with news from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Appliances were big news at this years show with induction cooktops being featured as well as early "smart appliance" prototypes. Shortly after the show, GE announced new "magnetocaloric" technology for refrigerators that potentially could eliminate the freon compressor and provide for greater efficiency.

February brought the United Servicers Associations Appliance Servicer Technical Institute (ASTI) to the West Coast. Brad and Todd represented W.L. May at the San Diego event in late February. Being a West Coat event, many appliance service companies from our area were able to attend and expand their skills at the annual event.

In March, we saw the introduction of a new Maytag Man. In a twist, the Maytag Man morphed from being a machine repairman, to actually becoming the appliance itself.

April brought us a new addition to the W.L. May family. Trev Pelzer took the reins as sales manager and  quickly made himself known as a doer and valuable addition to our staff.

The Spring was largely a quite time for the industry overall. Behind the scenes, the staff of the W.L. May Portland store was busy making preparations to move to a new location. In Mid June the move was made pretty smoothly. Well thought out planning helped keep any disruptions of service to a minimum.

As we settled into our new home, Whirlpool made a July announcement that it would be purchasing Italian appliance maker Indesit. But that was not to be the big manufacturer news of the summer. That occurred late in July when General Electric made the major announcement that, after over a hundred years of operation, they would be selling their Major Appliance Division.

In early August, two suitors had emerged for the GE division. Quirky, a startup company for smart appliance development (purchased by GE in 2013) was one candidate. The other contender was Swedish owned Electrolux. Fairly quickly, Electrolux emerged victorious, announcing the impending purchase in August. More to come on this in 2015, to be sure.

September saw the end of summer and with the arrival of Fall, the United Servicers Association was at it again. Their Fall Regional Servicer Training Institutes were held in 26 cities across the US and Canada. W.L. May was proud to sponsor events in September in Sacramento, CA, in October in Salt Lake City, UT and finally in November the Clackamas Meeting served the Portland area. As always it was gratifying to see so many service companies expanding their skills.

Also in September, we shared a rather strange story that is continuing with more developments just this week.  LG executives were attending an appliance trade show in Germany. The execs are alleged to have broken the doors on display model Samsung washing machines. Samsung demanded an investigation into the alleged vandalism. The investigation is underway and within the last week, LG's top executive has been barred from traveling to the US for the CES show in Las Vegas in January and the offices and homes of several top level LG executives have been raided by investigators.

As you can see, it has been a busy year. Tomorrow we begin 2015. It promises to be eventful as well. We look forward to serving you throughout the New Year, thanks for all of your support in 2014. Happy New Year!

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