Who makes Kohler Courage series engines?

Had to buy a new mower last weekend. Ended up with a Husqvarna with the 149cc Kohler Courage engine. Decided to buy from the local dealer rather than the big-box this time, and the version with the Kohler was 50 bucks cheaper than the one with the Honda GCV160, which gave me recurring carb problems on my old mower.
Anyway, I stopped by Tractor Supply later, on way home from grocery store, on my quest for the screwdriver bit described in another thread. I happened to glance down at their couple of low-end Huskee push mowers, and noticed the PowerMore engine looked a whole lot like my shiny new Kohler. Went home and looked online, and apparently there is an OEM in China that makes utility engines for a lot of different equipment companies. So pretty clearly my new engine was born in China. My question would be, do these OEM companies build them any better for name manufacturers? Or are small engines totally a commodity at this point?
Kohler web site, of course, is silent on where they get engines from.
(insert standard lament about nothing being made in this country any more)
--
aem sends...

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/26/2011 7:04 PM, aemeijers wrote: ...

Well, not entirely...it says they formed a joint venture in China so they are building at least some of their product there for (one presumes) both foreign and domestic markets. It also notes they bought an Italian small engine manufacturer at roughly the same time for a European presence.
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/26/2011 8:17 PM, dpb wrote:

I found a note about the China joint venture on the MTD web site, but didn't notice one on Kohler site. Guess I'll have to look again.
--
aem sends...

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/26/2011 8:28 PM, aemeijers wrote:

Found it. :^( Looks like MTD and Kohler are sleeping with twin sisters in China- the company names are spelled differently in the press releases, but they sound the same, and there are usually multiple ways to translate Chinese names into western characters. I've developed a pretty good eye over the years for spotting common-use parts- I think the two companies are different front doors on the same building, or they at least get their parts from the same suppliers.
Oh well- it's a done deal at this point. It seems to run fine and have good fit and finish, but I've only put a couple hours on it so far. I'll just try to be gentle with it, and not abuse it as badly as I did the Honda engine in the MTD. (which I do hope to get running again, once the carb gasket set I ordered shows up.) If I can get the engine to keep running again, I may even buy some replacement front wheels at HF for it- they don't roll too well with the wallowed out centers, and they keep canting over at a 15 degree angle.
-- aem sends, slightly poorer and slightly wiser....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

- doesn't mean any of your Honda is Chinese made, or that it has any Chinese DNA. The Chinese are a whole lot better at ripping off other designs than the Japanese ever were. The Japanese took, say, an American design and modified it to make it beter - the Chinese take that Japanese design and make it cheaper.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Unfortunately, you answered your own question. At the low end there is so much price competition even on the major brands that the name doesn't tell you much.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.