Miele (// MEE-lə; German: [ˈmiːlə]) is a German manufacturer of high-end domestic appliances and commercial equipment, headquartered in Gütersloh, Ostwestfalen-Lippe. The company was founded in 1899 by Carl Miele and Reinhard Zinkann, and it has always been a family-owned and run company.
Miele's first products were a cream separator, butter churn, and tub washing machine, under the Meteor brand. Carl Miele supervised manufacturing personally, and Reinhard Zinkann apprenticed and handled finances and sales.
In 1927, Miele started the production of vacuum cleaners. In 1929, the first electric dishwasher in Europe was produced. From 1930, motorcycles were built. In 1932, Miele was the largest centrifuge factory in Europe. During World War II, Miele produced control units for torpedoes of the German Kriegsmarine.[circular reference]
The Miele trademark was used very early on[when?] and appeared on all machines, nameplates, printed materials and advertising produced by the company. From the mid-1920s, a recognition feature of the logo has been a sloping dash used as the dot on the "i".
The trademark has remained unchanged apart from three minor alterations to reflect contemporary tastes. A survey by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, one of Germany's leading daily newspapers, found that the "i" alone was sufficient to identify the Miele brand.
Miele exports products to global markets and is represented in 47 countries. Their expansion into the United States came in 1983, when they established corporate headquarters in Somerset, New Jersey. In 1999, they relocated to the new headquarters in Princeton, which was designed by the Driehaus Prize winner Michael Graves. Most products are made in Germany or Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic and Romania, there are ten showrooms in the United States.
Miele produces domestic appliances including laundry appliances; vacuum cleaners; dishwashers; rotary irons; built-in convection, steam, and speed ovens; hobs (cooker hoods, cook tops); free-standing and built-in refrigerators, freezers, and wine coolers; and coffee systems. The company also produces commercial laundry equipment including wet cleaning machines, lab glassware washers, dental disinfectors, and medical equipment washers.
In 2007, Miele was given an award for being the most successful company in Germany that year, beating the previous year's winner Google, which placed second, and Porsche, which came in third.
Rankings for this Best Brands prize are the result of market research covering key criteria such as current economic market success and brand recognition and popularity among consumers. Miele was recognized as Best Company and also achieved a top-five place in the category Best Product Brand. Miele was honored as Best Domestic Appliance Brand in the UK by Which? in 2007 and again in 2008, being only one of two brands to win twice in a row. They have since won again in 2010.
In North America, Miele is marketed as a high-end major appliance brand. It competes against brands such as Küppersbusch, Sub-Zero, Wolf & Cove, Gaggenau, Fagor, Viking Range, Dacor, Asko, JennAir, and Thermador.
Miele's slogan in German is immer besser, which literally translates to "always better" but can also mean "better and better".
Media related to Miele at Wikimedia Commons