Who Makes Thermador Refrigerators?

A Legacy of Innovation in American Kitchens

Thermador refrigerators have been keeping American families well-stocked for over a century. Founded in 1916 by entrepreneur William Crinston in Huntington Beach, California, Thermador originated providing electric heaters during an era where less than half of homes had access to electricity. Recognizing the untapped potential of the growing appliance sector, Crinston astutely pivoted Thermador’s focus to kitchen tools — paving the way for industry-changing innovations.

From Heaters to Hot Appliances

Thermador took an ambitious, entrepreneurial approach in their early days. With the daring vision to electrify households, William Cranston commercialized electric heating technology at a time when power remained a novelty for many. This propelled the fledgling company’s entrance into the domestic market. 

It wasn’t long before Thermador shifted its sights to capitalize on rising demand for in-home conveniences centered around meal preparation and cleanup. Their forward-thinking spirit forged an indelible reputation as appliances that elevated everyday tasks.

Some of Thermador’s most impactful introductions disrupted conventions as the first of their kind. In the 1920s, the inclusion of a wall-mounted oven reimagined what cooking functionality could look like. Decades later, their professional-grade stove established new standards for commercial-caliber performance in residential kitchens. 

Perhaps their most transformative achievement was inventing the self-cleaning oven — a technology that remains ubiquitous today. These pioneering innovations reinforced Thermador as synonymous with progress.

Growth of an Iconic American Brand

By the late 20th century, Thermador’s prominence was cemented across the United States following over 80 successful years led from their original headquarters in Huntington Beach, California. With distribution nationwide and a dealer network spanning the country, the brand occupied a demand space comparable to major nationwide retailers of the time. 

Thermador’s iconic products and pioneering reputation personified quality American-made appliances for the modern age. Their achievements fostered intense loyalty from professionals and home cooks alike who relied on Thermador’s proven track record of performance.

An All-American Brand Goes Global

Given Thermador’s sizeable footprint and brand equity in 1998, their acquisition by Germany-based BSH Home Appliances Corporation stirred speculation on the future of the classic American appliance maker’s manufacturing roots. As the largest home appliance business in Europe at the time, BSH’s global reach provided opportunities for Thermador to scale internationally. 

However, some industry observers questioned if a European conglomerate would maintain Thermador’s distinctively American identity — including domestic production.

BSH Ownership Structure
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BSH Hausgeräte GmbH corporate umbrella encompasses home appliance brands worldwide.

American Factories Keep on Cooking

Surprisingly, BSH leadership elected not only to preserve Thermador’s brand equity but double down on its American manufacturing heritage by retaining facilities stateside. To this day, the majority of Thermador refrigerators and core appliance lines are produced at factories in New Bern, North Carolina, and La Follette, Tennessee

Select innovative or built-in models requiring specialized assembly may be finished at plants in Germany or other European nations under BSH operations. But for the essential refrigerator and range products in highest demand, BSH commits to “Made in the USA” production.

The benefits of local manufacturing extend beyond patriotic buying power. By maintaining domestic factories, Thermador avoids complications from international shipping or navigating global supply chains that introduce risks to timely fulfillment. 

It also allows the brand more control over quality assurance throughout each step when products are made close to home. Most importantly, BSH’s choice affirmed the significance of Thermador’s rich history and association with high-quality American craftsmanship which forms the emotional core of its customer loyalty.

Comparing Thermador to Sister Brands

Comparing Thermador to Sister Brands

As part of BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, Thermador is now intertwined with other celebrated appliance houses that found success across Europe and beyond. Brands like Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, and Neff each attracted fervent followings for the flawless engineering and incomparable designs synonymous with German quality. Under the unified BSH parent company, these iconic labels pool technical innovations through collaborative research and development.

At the same time, each upholds unique visual identities and product specializations. For example, Bosch established itself through reliable cooking appliances and dishwashers balanced for value. Meanwhile, Gaggenau pushes the boundaries of design and function for commercial-caliber culinary tools. 

Thermador fills the niche of high-performance luxury, applying pioneering technology to appliances indulging the devoted food enthusiast. Through BSH, these prestigious global brands strengthen as allies rather than competitors — offering homeowners unparalleled choices across various price segments and styles of kitchen.

Standing the Test of Time

Thermador dedicates extraordinary care to designing refrigerators that earn their keep over lifetimes of regular use. Stainless steel exterior and interiors forge a sleek, effortless elegance that withstands daily handling without accumulating signs of wear. 

This commitment to aesthetics matches Thermador’s emphasis on resilient mechanics constructed to function flawlessly decades into the future, even with family expanding.

Beyond appearances, meticulous durability testing subjects each Thermador model to open-and-close simulations far exceeding standard use cycles. Mechanical components undergo vigorous stress examinations under extreme temperatures and humidity to evaluate performance boundaries. 

Only the sturdiest materials passing these strenuous trials are approved for assembly. The results speak for themselves — generations of Thermador owners attest these refrigerators are built to last well beyond expected service timeframes. When spent correctly on a Thermador, money for a luxury-grade refrigerator proves a shrewd long-term investment.

Supporting Customers for the Long Haul

Thermador understands appliances represent substantial purchases integral to families’ daily lives. To honor this responsibility, the brand vows to support customers long after sale closings through attentive service programs. All products receive a baseline limited 2-year warranty covering any defects, whether issues arise from faulty parts or workmanship.

Should issues surface later, Thermador’s in-house support staff stands at the ready by phone to troubleshoot problems. Technical advisors assist with diagnoses, repair schematics, and replacement component orders — sparing homeowners unnecessary service fees or downtime. Their goal isn’t just resolutions but preventing recurrence, continually enhancing designs informed by field reports. 

Thermador even hosts local workshops teaching maintenance tips to extend usability. This devotion illustrates why the brand remains a safe harbor for those seeking reliable performance with peace of mind for the unpredictable stretches appliance lifetimes may cover.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Bosch and Thermador the same company?

While Thermador and Bosch are both owned by BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, they are considered separate appliance brands. BSH acts as the parent company that acquired both Thermador and Bosch.

Where are Thermador refrigerators made?  

The majority of Thermador refrigerators are manufactured in the United States at factories located in New Bern, North Carolina, and La Follette, Tennessee. Some high-end built-in models may be assembled in Germany.

Is Thermador made in Germany?

While some high-end Thermador appliances are assembled in Germany, most Thermador products, including refrigerators, are still made in the US at factories owned by Thermador’s parent company BSH. So Thermador cannot be said to be purely “made in Germany.”

Is Thermador a good brand?

Generally, Thermador is considered a high-quality brand known for innovative kitchen appliances. Consumer reviews praise Thermador’s performance but criticize its higher price point and occasional customer service issues. So while not perfect, Thermador aims to deliver premium, reliable products that may not be worth the cost for all buyers.

In Summary

More than a century since William Crinston first ignited home utility through heating experimentation, Thermador persists as a shining pioneer. Technologies once groundbreaking now feel commonplace thanks to Thermador’s visionary bets.

By maintaining domestic manufacturing under BSH stewardship, Thermador preserves its integral American manufacturing legacy while scaling worldwide.

Homeowners reap the rewards through refrigerators engineered by heritage with character as steadfast as their constructions. When choosing an appliance relationship built to last generations, few deliver like Thermador.


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