It's pretty easy to buy American-made carpet. The three biggest carpet-makers in the world - Shaw Industries, Inc., Mohawk Industries, Inc., and Beaulieu of America LLC - are based in Georgia and comprise nearly 75% of America's carpet production.
But how easy is it to find an American-made vacuum cleaner? Three American brands that stand out are Oreck, Hoover and Riccar. Riccar is probably the least popular of these three, but their story is perhaps one of the most interesting because this company did something recently that is rarely heard of these days - move manufacturing from overseas back to America.
About 18 months ago, according to John Kaido, senior vice-president of the floor care division, Riccar's parent company Tacony Corporation moved its manufacturing facility from Taiwan to Missouri. Mr. Kaido admits that the company considered moving production to China, but they felt the quality wasn't up to their standards, so they came back to America instead.
Some of their parts are sourced from China, however, which explains why their labels read "Made in USA with globally-sourced components." Also, of the many models under the Riccar and Signature brand names, only the upright vacuums are made in USA. For more information, check out www.riccar.com.
Hoover, which is owned by Maytag, is based in North Canton, Ohio and according to www.hoover.com three of the five Hoover plants are in that state. The other two are in El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico, so you'll have to check the label if you don't want a Mexican model. Hoover's newest model - the VR2 - is stamped "Made in USA." Most Hoover vacuums are priced at $200-$300.
Oreck vacuums can be a bit pricier, but the company claims that quality is better than the typical brand. Oreck's top model - the XL21 - costs $699 but comes with a 21 year warranty that includes the motor. The warranty also covers free yearly maintenance service at any of their 750 retail outlets. Other lower-priced Orecks come with 7 and 3 year warranties. Riccar and Hoover vacuums both come with a 5 year warranty. All Oreck vacuums, except the small car vac types, are made in USA.
About 18 months ago (around the same time Riccar moved production from Taiwan to America) Oreck's motor supplier moved to Mexico, and since the manufacturer wasn't owned by Oreck, there wasn't a lot Oreck could do. But apparently Chairman David Oreck prefers American production since all Oreck-owned factories are located in America.
There are other brands of vacuum cleaners that are produced in America such as Swedish-owned Eureka and Sears' brand Kenmore (assembled by Japanese-owned Panasonic). But why buy an American-made vacuum cleaner from a foreign-owned company when you can buy one from an American-owned company? By buying America-made and American-owned, you'll be keeping both profits and jobs in America.