Defy's history can be traced back for almost 100 years. The name Defy came into being during the 1920's, and in 1932 the company manufactured the first electric stoves in South Africa.
During the past 80 years Defy has taken a leading role in appliance manufacturing, pioneering amongst others the manufacturing of gas stoves, washing machines, tumble dryers, continuous clean ovens and convection ovens in South Africa.
Defy offers the consumer a full range of kitchen and laundry appliances, and also participates in the room air conditioner market. The company's head office is in Jacobs, Durban. It operates three factories at the following locations:
- Jacobs - manufactures free-standing stoves, built-in ovens and hobs, tumble dryers and console air conditioners.
- Ezakheni (Ladysmith) - manufactures electric chest freezers and electric refrigerators.
- East London - manufactures electric refrigerators.
All factories have been accredited in terms of ISO 9001-2000.
Defy also markets cookerhoods, dishwashers, washing machines, microwave ovens and gas stoves.
Defy has the strongest appliance brand positioning in Southern Africa, with the slogan 'You can rely on Defy' associated very strongly with consistent product quality and meaningful product innovation.
The company supports its brand position further through its own sales, warehousing, distribution and after sales service functions.
Defy has an annual turnover (2008) in excess of R2,4 billion (US$ 270 million), and holds a 40% share of the South African major appliance market. The company also exports to a variety of markets, including Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.
Defy is owned by Franke Holding AG. Defy currently employs more than 3500 people.