Viking appliances fighting to stay profitable

Restaurant kitchen

Viking appliances put restaurant-level power in your kitchen. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

There are still vestiges of good, old fashioned American manufacturing around, and a great example is the Viking Appliances company.  There are few companies that make kitchen appliances that match Viking’s quality and iconic status. The company is fighting to keep its place as a homegrown manufacturing giant, as so many products are manufactured overseas and imported. Viking products may go for a bit more quick cash than its counterparts, but you will know where that money went.

Viking Appliances: an old fashioned success

Viking Appliances got its start when founder Fred Carl was building a home, and his wife desired a commercial style range stove and oven, according to the Viking Appliances website. She had been particularly enamored of the Chambers stove that her mother had owned, and the stainless steel construction of a restaurant stove appealed to him. So he set about designing a commercial style oven that was practical and safe for the home.  No one else was making one, so he would create one.

Viking pillages kitchens

After years of perfecting the design, Fred Carl finally had a design approved, and production began by January of 1987.  Viking Ranges have become the creme de la creme of kitchen appliances since that time. After shuffling the factory around, a production facility was finally constructed in Greenwood, Miss., the hometown of Fred Carl. Viking Appliances are now sold in more than 80 countries, and the products are top shelf in range ovens and stoves, ventilation, refrigerators, outdoor grills and high end cutlery, just to cover the tip of the iceberg.

Struggles with the modern world

Many manufacturing sectors in the United States have struggled in the last few decades, and Viking Appliances is no exception. The company isn’t exactly in danger of collapse, but it is struggling.  A recent MSNBC article detailed the struggle of the company since the housing crash that bankrupted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac saw demand for luxury ranges drop off.  Output is about half of what it was in 2005, but the company does not release detailed financial information.  Companies like Viking Appliances are success stories worth hearing about and examples to hold in esteem.  Let us hope these Vikings can keep pillaging for a long time to come.

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