All homeowners want only the best appliances in their homes. Those that break down easily or malfunction quite often are not welcome. But, if it is a smart home we are talking about, homeowners must be pickier.
When you build a smart home, what you want is to maximize efficiency and comfort. Thus, you must buy only the most reliable appliances and devices. Moreover, these things can collect your data and can share and sell them. Therefore, it would be best if you bought only from trusted manufacturers.
But there are lots of smart device and appliance manufacturers out there. So understandably, you might find it challenging to determine which is which. Let us introduce you to one company that resides on the safe side. Meet Gorenje.
Gorenje is an appliance manufacturer from Slovenia, founded by Ivan Atelšek in 1950. This company, based in Velenje, Slovenia, is the fourth-largest household appliance manufacturer in Europe. Since the 1950s, it has expanded and became a multinational corporation. The Gorenje group boasts 83 subsidiary companies. A total of 59 of these are located outside of the corporation’s home country.
Gorenje’s products are produced in four places, one of which is the main facility in Velenje. The other one is the cooking appliance plant Mora Moravia located in Mariánské Valley, Czech republic. Then, there’s the fridge and freezer plant in Valjeho, Serbia. The last one, a water heater and radiator plant, is found in Stara Pazova, Serbia. These products are sold under the company’s own brands, Gorenje, Atag, Etna, Körting, Mora, Pelgrim, and Sidex.
On top of appliances, Gorenje also provides services in energy, ecology, and trade fields. Furthermore, it manufactures ceramics and kitchen and bathroom furniture you might want to add to your smart home too. All of these products and services are present in 90 countries, many of which are in Europe.
Gorenje cooperates with people such as Karim Rashid and Ora Ito. The former is described by Time magazine as the “Prince of Plastic” and “the most famous industrial designer in all of America.” Meanwhile, the other is a French designer whose works are used by the watchmaker Swatch, brewer Heineken, and fragrance chemist Davidoff. These are big names, proving that Gorenje is a company you can trust. Aside from these people, Gorenje also cooperates with the glass production company Swarovski and the Italian car design firm and coachbuilder – Pininfarina.
Founding To Present
Gorenje had existed probably even before you were born. Needless to say, it has a long history.
The company was not originally located in Velenje. Instead, it was established by the Yugoslavian government in the village of Gorenje, Yugoslavia – thus, the name. It only moved to the nearby town of Velenje in 1960.
At first, it only manufactured agricultural machinery. But eight years after its founding, Gorenje started producing solid-fuel cookers. In 1961, the company exported 200 of these cookers to Germany. It may not be an impressive feat nowadays, but it was during that time.
Four years later, Gorenje started producing washing machines under the license of Italian home appliance producer – Zanussi. The first washing machine Gorenje produced was the PS 275 – a rebadge of Zanussi’s 1964 Rex Superautomatic Mod. 270. All the parts and components came from Italy, but the machines were assembled in Velenje. A total of 10,886 units of P 275 were produced until the end of 1966. The following year, Gorenje produced a follow-up model, the PS 275. This model is a rebadge of Zanussi’s 1966 Rex T4.
The 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s
As the decade ended, in 1969, Gorenje launched its first batch of refrigerators. That was the start of a massive change. In the subsequent decade – the 1970s – Gorenje expanded its product range. The company started producing kitchen units, ceramics, and medical equipment. Likewise, it started producing telecommunications devices, TV sets, and other electrical goods. During the corporation’s expansion, it hired over 20,000 people.
Aside from adding more products, Gorenje also established a distribution and sales network in Western Europe and Australia. The European countries include Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, and Italy. It is also in the same decade that Gorenje bought the German manufacturer Körting.
In the 1980s, Gorenje added the UK and the US to its export market network. And, it was also the decade when the company decided to put the production of home appliances at its center.
Nothing happened in the 1990s except Gorenje’s distribution and sales network expansion in Eastern Europe. It also became a publicly traded joint-stock company.
Contrary to that of the previous decade, the 2000s were eventful. Right off the bat, the first appliance collection designed by Pininfarina for Gorenje was launched. Then, in 2004, Gorenje launched a new laundry range. It includes the famous Gorenje WA65205 – the world’s first washing machine with a speed of 2000 rpm. That is still the world’s fastest spin speed for a washing machine in 2021.
In the following years, Gorenje took over Mora Moravia, acquired ATAG, and opened the plants in Valjeho and Stara Pazova. In addition to that, Gorenje launched the second collection designed by Pininfarina and the freezer with CRYSTALLIZEDTM – Swarovski Elements.
In 2006, Gorenje announced a collaboration with Ora-Ito. The resulting collection of that collaboration was launched in Istanbul in 2007. In the same year, Gorenje sold the Pink Oldtimer in a charity auction to raise funds for a campaign against breast cancer.
2008 marks the launch of the Gorenje Pininfarina Black Collection and the Gorenje Ora-Ito White Collection of appliances. Also, during the Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin fair this year, Gorenje unveiled its iPod fridge-freezer. This innovative appliance has a built-in iPod docking station and speakers.
The 2010s – Present
Major shifts happened in the 2010s. In 2010, Gorenje took over Asko Appliances – a Swedish appliance manufacturer. Then, the company sold a 13% stake to Panasonic for €10 million. And last Chinese company Hisense became the majority shareholder in the Gorenje Group in 2018. With Hisense and Gorenje launched ConnectLife, the company’s smart home platform.
Gorenje has been here for 70 years already, ad it has proven that it is one of the best appliance manufacturing companies. If you are looking for appliances for your smart home, you might want to consider browsing their collections.