Foreign Appliance Companies Moving into Local Korean Market
Aug 17, 2004
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Foreign household appliance companies like U.S. firm Carrier, Japan's JVC, and Sweden's Electrolux Korea are accelerating their assault into the Korean market in the face of the sluggish economy. Coming out of devotion to household appliances, the companies recently began to assault schools, public agencies, and businesses and pressure the local market with expanded numbers of products. Changes in the country's household appliance market, considered to be impregnable due to the overwhelming strength of Samsung, LG, and Daewoo Electronics, are expected.

JVC Korea, which concentrated on the sales of household appliances such as audio and camcorders, has recently launched a team marketing exclusively business-use products like broadcasting cameras used in firms, broadcasting facilities like editing machines, CCTV installed in buildings and apartments, and computer image cameras used in hospitals and research institutes. Panasonic Korea held a big dealer convention at the Chosun Hotel in June with more than 100 prospective clients attending. Introduced on the occasion was a quality home theater model with wireless LAN installed for use mainly in corporate conference rooms.

In June, Carrier Korea, a supplier of air-conditioners to Incheon Airport and Korea Express Train, secured from the Supply Administration a right to supply 24,000 system air-conditioners, used for central cooling in huge buildings, within the year. The firm is also winning system air-conditioner contracts from a number of compound shopping malls in the capital region.

Beginning with the sale of premium drum washing machines last month, Electrolux Korea is targeting the mainstream household appliance market. On the strength of heightened recognition of its brand through its robot washing machine, the company plans to market next month four small kitchen appliances --a coffee maker, oven toaster, barbecue grill, and toaster.

"Foreign household appliance firms that have adapted to the Korean market to a certain extent are now specializing in areas in which they are competitive on the one hand, and are moving to confront local manufacturers from the front on the other," observed an industry official. (The Chosun Ilbo)

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