LookingUp: If F&P were world class they would be worth worrying about. Read the dishwasher thread - who in their right mind would by an F&P product these days? Yes, once they were something to be proud of, but those days are gone, and their sale is but the final nail...
Beer on the other hand, is significantly more important than white-ware! I can buy a German appliance that will last 20 years and I can effectively forget about it, but I buy beer somewhat more often and certainly get a LOT more enjoyment from it.
Their washing machines are good, and fridges are ok. They are mid range, not top of the range, so you do get what you pay for. German appliances cost a lot more, so you expect them to last longer.
Beer is very low tech compared to the tech that has gone into developing the smartdrive and their new fridge coolant system, which I believe is so good, that they had licensed to other manufacturers. The chinese got it for a steel.
The entry into making beer is very low, hence many are started in the garage. So I don't see any great loss at all. Heaps of competition too as a result of this. But it is almost impossible now to setup an appliance manufacturer in NZ, even if it is all made offshore and designed in NZ, like apple does. F&P is still a very good name overseas, and I would say the brand name in NZ is better than most other appliance brands in NZ in that mid range market.