They certainly don't make major appliances to last as they used to do. Ever wonder why fridges from the forties and fifties can still be found (we have a friend who bought their fridge in '52 and it's still running as brand new)? It's the size of the compressor.
The average life of a fridge today is I think 8-12 years. A refrigerator repairman told me years ago that this is a result of putting in smaller compressors to save energy. But the smaller compressors have to work harder, hence they wear out much faster. When the compressors go, it's often not worth repairing as opposed to getting a new one.
Of course there's always "planned obsolescence," isn't there?