Maytag Corp. has patented its new French door refrigerator, designed by the Amana Refrigeration division.
Company officials say the style, introduced last year under Sears' Kenmore brand, is helping Maytag extend its dominance in the bottom-freezer category.
"We have just been amazed at how well it has done and are looking for further innovations we can drive around that platform, as we think it has great opportunities for growth," said Kevin Kacere, vice president of Maytag's Amana division.
This year, Maytag followed up with versions of the French door refrigerator sold under its Jenn-Air, Maytag, and Amana brands. The refrigerator has two equal-sized doors that open in opposite directions on the top, and a pull-out freezer drawer on the bottom.
Maytag got its patent on the exclusive design this month.
David MacGregor, of Cleveland, OH, U.S.-based Longbow Research, said it's been a successful product mainly because of the way the design allows the doors to seal, creating a high level of energy efficiency.
"It's generally a well-regarded product," Mr. MacGregor said.
Made at the Amana plant, the model was initially introduced as a premium product. Internet-based retailers sell them at prices ranging from just less than U.S. $1,700 to more than $2,200, depending on brand and model. (Associated Press)
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