Thread Number: 11676
less top loaders.
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Post# 208493   5/6/2007 at 02:04 (4,403 days old) by twinniefan (Sydney Australia)        

twinniefan's profile picture
Hi Folks,
Today Sunday I went to my nearest Harvey Norman store to purchase a brand new digital camera for my ever approaching holiday to Western Australia, I found a good little unit and once I finished my purchase, I wandered over to the washing machine department and found to my surprise that there were only about 8 models of top loaders on show compared to about 30 models of front loaders,which got me to thinking could this be the beginning of the end of the traditional top loader here in Oz.
Even the ever popular Simpson range were non existant except for 1 model only apart from this one there was the cheap and nasty looking Centrex 6kg,2 Fisher and Paykel's including the new Aquasmart model (which seems quite impressive),the new giant Haier double drive, and a Samsung 6.5kg.
If this is the case I am quirte surprised as most Aussie families tend to have top loaders and I wonder how people will like it if they do disappear and the only choice is front loaders to choose from.
Of the front loaders I looked at,I was quite impressed with the Aqualtis range, thye seem quite sturdy and durable.
Cheers folks.

Post# 208523 , Reply# 1   5/6/2007 at 08:44 (4,402 days old) by rapunzel (Sydney)        

Hi Steve,

I am actually wondering if stores get some kind of government or industry incentive to sell front loaders apart from the $150 rebate to customers. They seem to flog them to death everywhere. Top loaders are being pushed to the back of the store in many places. Question is, is it because people aren't really showing an interest in front loaders? Have importers locked themselves into supply contracts and now they are stuck with products that don't move as well as they'd expected?

Talking to sales reps and a Kleenmaid service tech recently, top loaders still outsell front loaders by a significant margin. The Kleenmaid guy also said that he went to an Electrolux bash and the general consensus was that front loaders are not expected to gain significant market share in the near future, if at all.

Almost all the Australian-made top loaders are 3 and 4A rated now. So are the ever-popular Fisher & Paykel models from New Zealand. Their water-saver options make them nearly or as econonmical as most available front loaders. Of course, with Electrolux ceasing production of washers in the next year, there won't be an Australian product before long.

I can't help thinking that the Australian market isn't as consumer driven as the larger overseas markets. That here we are often forced into accepting certain types/styles of products, due to the complete lack or outrageous pricing of alternatives.

Take the current housing stock being built. Everyone I speak to absolutely hates the new homes sprouting up everywhere. The new style, called modern contemporary, is, according to the industry, all the rage - which translates into no eves, shutters or any other distinguishing features/adornments. When I ask people why then do they buy these houses, they say that if you want anything different it's too costly. With our stratospheric property prices ordinary people can now only afford boring, second rate housing stock.

What are your thoughts?

Post# 208688 , Reply# 2   5/7/2007 at 03:21 (4,402 days old) by arrrooohhh (Sydney Australia)        

Which Harvey Norman did you go into?

I think that now there are so many models of Frontloader that they take much more floorspace than they used to do.

I have noticed that Westinghouse seems to be disappearing. I guess that with Electrolux closing its Adelaide washing machine factory down they have scaled production right back. I guess that the new machine from Electrolux will make its appearance as a Westinghouse first. Most places still have several Simpson, Westinghouse and F&P toploaders on display.

Lets face it with the water situation as bad as it is in Australia what choice do we really have? I know and you know that twin tubs are fun and save water but most families wont have time to attend to a twin tub to do a family wash.

What the real problem is that our whitegoods industry has been killed off by low tarrifs and cheap imports from Asia. If there was a real interest in maintaining Australian manufacturing, Electrolux could of tooled up the Adelaide factory to produce front loaders as well. I would love to have seen the Frigidaire front loader made in Australia. Simple controls, quick and a large capacity they would have been onto a winner but they cant compete with companies like LG.


Post# 208689 , Reply# 3   5/7/2007 at 04:08 (4,402 days old) by twinniefan (Sydney Australia)        
Further thoughts

twinniefan's profile picture
Hi guys,
Thanks for the responses,
Rapunzel, I could not agree with you more about housing you see where I live in south western Sydney all it seems to be is high rise apartments everywhere you look, indeed there would be at least 6 or 7 large blocks surrounding the local Westfield at Liverpool, and we all know about Sydney house prices basically for someone like me who only earns the mid 30 thousand a year, it is nigh well impossible to buy anything house or apartment, I feel that the traditional backyard and house is a thing of the past.
Arrrooohhh, it was the Liverpool Harvey Norman I visited perhaps you are correct with more front loaders on the market thye most likely do take up more floor space,I agree with you totally about a large capacity locally made front loader, I would imagine something like the old Hoover Zodiac 12, in a say a 7.5kg load although as you say it is very hard to compete against L.G., Samsung and the like.
I must be honest here though I actually contributed a little to this by buying the Haier twintub instead of a Simpson or Westinghouse top loader, buy hey I wanted a twintub and noone makes them locally any longer.
I do disageree a little with you though about families not having time to attend to a large family was in a twintub,we managed with them for years before large capacity automatics became the norm and dont forget Hitachi do make a jumbo 8kg capacity twintub and I also believe in some ways people these days a just spoilt by having these gadets which do everything for you at the flick of a switch.
I am not sure of your age, but when I got my first job in Woolworths in 1980, late night shopping on Thursday night just started and the shops all closed at midday on Saturday and Sunday trading was not on and folks still managed to get shopping done in time. nowdays we just want shops open every minute of every day just for the sake of it just another example of laziness as I see it.
Cheers guys,

Post# 208699 , Reply# 4   5/7/2007 at 07:14 (4,401 days old) by mrx ()        
They're just dying out!

Front loaders save energy, save water (which is possibly a very big deal in Australia as it's charged) and they're being marketed *much* more heavily I suspect.

They're generally higher tech looking too and have largely completely overcome their traditional image of being low capacity (5KG) with many 8KG models now selling like hotcakes (in Ireland anyway!)

Our local Harvey Norman (yes, they do exist in Ireland and have a really annoying ad featuring Mr. Harvey belting out special offers in the strongest aussi accent I've ever heard to a background of "Go harvey go!")

Anyway, they have about 1 whrilpool toploader agitiator washer on the floor. There's always been a very niche demand for them. However, I have heard that since the larger capacity front loaders have hit the market and as they've dropped in price e.g. the huge capacity Electroluxs and the likes of the Hoover Vision and Hotpoint-Ariston Aqualtis ... there is no longer any demand for the toploaders at all. They're largely seen as an inferior product for various reasons : high water consumption, no internal heaters, lack of choice of wash programmes, and they can't handle bulky items like douvets very effectively as they tend to float to the top! They also require much much more detergent and have very poor spin speeds in comparison to a 1600 Hoover vision or similar.

The first round of large capacity front loaders e.g. from Bosch and LG Tromm etc were awkward (due to the large cabinet size) and quite pricy.

These 8KG standard size frontloaders have hit the market and hit the right price point and feature set. People really seem to like them!

You've : fast "quickwash" action washes (compares to a TL's speed for normal quick washing)
Very high speed spins (1600rpm +)
Very high energy efficiency (european A rating)
Wide choice of programmes (can handle woolens better, silks, delicates as well as having long extended washes for really difficult stains)
and they can cope with bulky airfilled hollow fiber pillows, douvets etc etc.

I think the toploader's days are numbered!

Post# 208758 , Reply# 5   5/7/2007 at 13:06 (4,401 days old) by vintagesearch ()        

"toploaders days are numbered"
theres some truth to that, here in the US we are having more and more frontoaders being made. And more toploaders are becoming HE or have frontloader like actions. It has been said in a recent articles i've read the US government wants to push more and more for consumers to purchase frontloaders and manufactures will stop production of reguler non HE toploaders in 2011 and begin phasing HE technology completely as 2012. I dont really tend to like frontloaders to much at least domestic ones. However, i would opt for a whirlpool cabrio agi model. ;P

Post# 208799 , Reply# 6   5/7/2007 at 15:45 (4,401 days old) by fa_f3_20 ()        

Well, they can push all they want, but in the U.S. at least, the market is pushing back pretty forcefully. Whenever I walk into a big box place around here, the top loaders far outnumber the front loaders. If the government continues to push the issue, I think there's going to be another automatic-seatbelt debacle. In the eastern half of the U.S. at least, there are no water shortages to speak of, and many cities have a minimum monthly water charge that is far more than most people use.

Post# 208803 , Reply# 7   5/7/2007 at 16:15 (4,401 days old) by vintagesearch ()        

I know thank god we still got our regular ol' toploaders!

Post# 209291 , Reply# 8   5/10/2007 at 01:10 (4,399 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Same with me-will stick with vintage TL's all the way-thank goodness for swap shops!If you have the space-stock up!

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