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Korea steals top 2 slots in U.S. for home appliances

Apr 26,2017
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Korean players dominate the U.S. home appliances market, one of the largest consumer markets for premium appliances, beating venerable American companies Whirlpool and GE.

According to market tracker TraQline on Tuesday, Samsung Electronics notched a 19.2 percent market share in the U.S. home appliances market in the quarter that ended in March, followed by local rival LG Electronics, which clinched 15.8 percent of the market. Whirlpool recorded 15.7 percent.

It was the first time the 106-year-old Whirlpool has been knocked down to third place in its home market. It is also the first time the top two ranks in the U.S. home appliances market were held by Korean companies. Samsung took the No. 1 slot from Whirlpool in the third quarter of last year.

The market share rankings were based on sales of five major home appliances: refrigerators, washing machines, ovens, microwaves and dishwashers. Clothes driers are not included, but the Korean companies shares in that category are similar to their shares of washing machines.

Statements from both Samsung and LG stressed the role of premium products and innovations.

“Increasing sales of refrigerators, especially in the premium segment, and introduction of innovative washing machines products greatly contributed to topping the U.S. market,” said Choi Ick-soo, a vice president at Samsung Electronics.

While Samsung accounted for 23 percent of overall refrigerator sales in the U.S., its sales of French-door-style refrigerators with four doors accounted for 34 percent of that segment. LG followed with a 17.9 percent share for all refrigerator sales and 19.7 percent share of French-door refrigerators.

The figure shows Korean companies have a larger presence in the premium refrigerator segment. It also means than more than half of the French-door refrigerator users in the country are using models made by Korean companies.

In washing machines, Whirlpool’s traditional strength, Samsung and LG succeeded in the American market with larger, more expensive front-loading models. Samsung is now the dominant player in the overall washing machine market, with 19.7 percent market share, followed by Whirlpool at 17.3 percent.

“Boosted by the popularity of the AddWash Washing machine, we snatched the top place in U.S. washing machine sales from the third quarter of last year,” Samsung said in a statement Tuesday. The so-called AddWash door enables owners to add laundry during a cycle.

Samsung also released FlexWash and FlexDry laundry systems and a new refrigerator called the Family Hub refrigerator earlier in the year. LG’s competing models are the Magic Space refrigerator and Twin Wash washing machine.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]