July 23, 2014

LG Electronics Wants YOU!

LG electronics has been around since 1958 when it was established as Goldstar.  In 1995 it changed its name to LG Electronics.  It has spent most of those years as a quiet second (or even third) choice electronics option or most people.  That it already changing.

Now Andrew Barrett, LG’s vice-president, marketing, for LG Electronics Canada Ltd. announces he has big plans for LG’s future in an interview with The Globe and Mail.

 “It seems like only yesterday that LG was a rather ordinary, personality-less, original equipment manufacturer. “The only way LG could shake the shackles of being lesser known,” Mr. Barrett says, “was to be seen as a brand of desire.” ”

The new strategy: To seed the company’s global operations with a marketing mindset geared to a sense of style.  Think red steam washing machines.

Style implies taste, and taste can be tricky. Consider Scarlet, the LG TV with the brazenly red back panel. “When your positioning is based on style … the TVs can’t just be a black box that looks like everybody else’s TVs,” he says. The reaction to the Scarlet has been polarizing. “There were some who absolutely loved it, and others who were appalled by it and never wanted to see it in their home,” he says.

Two weeks ago Mr. Barrett was tapped by LG HQ to lead the company’s just-announced global sponsorship for Formula 1 racing.

“There’s a social style, a social status, a premium-ness that sits around F1,” he says, expressing how he believes the style-technology harmony of the racing circuit makes a perfect match for the style-technology focus of LG. Think Monte Carlo and yachts and celebrities and cerulean vistas. “We think we’re the Monte Carlo of consumer electronics,” he says.

The job grows bigger. Any day now the company will announce a broadening of Mr. Barrett’s marketing responsibilities to encompass what he will define only as a “significant portion of the world’s geography,” reporting to the chief marketing officer for LG worldwide.

LG to Compensate Customers of French Door Refrigerator

Earlier this month we wrote here about LG’s french door refrigerators losing their EnergyStar rating.  Now, in agreement with the United States Department of Energy (DOE), LG will also compensate owners, modify unsold inventory and remove five current models from the Energy Star program.

LG Electronics has offered to make in-home modifications on French door refrigerator models that were improperly certified as Energy Star compliant.

Under terms of an agreement with the United States Department of Energy (DOE), LG will also compensate owners, modify unsold inventory and remove five current models from the Energy Star program.

Affected models include 10 LG-branded SKUs and 12 Kenmore-branded Trio units designed and manufactured by LG and sold by Sears.

Current LG models include the LFX23961, LFX25971, LFX21971, LMX25981 and LMX21981, all with in-the-door ice and water dispensers.

Five discontinued models include the LFX25950, LFX25960, LFX21960, LFX25980 and LFX21980.

The affected Kenmore units have in-the-door ice and water dispensers and model numbers beginning with 795.

Under terms of its agreement with DOE, LG will offer to modify consumers’ refrigerators at the company’s own expense. The modification, which involves replacing the ice maker’s circuit board and reprogramming the fridge, will make the units more energy efficient but not Energy Star compliant.

LG will also provide consumers with a one-time cash payment covering the difference between the energy rating listed on the original EnergyGuide label and the restated energy rating, plus annual payments for future incremental energy usage for the expected useful life of the appliance, up to 14 years.

LG said it will attempt to contact all previous purchasers of the affected units, and has established a special hotline — (888) 848-1266 — and Web site (www.lgrefrigeratoroffer.com).

The company is also modifying all unsold inventory, changing all labeling and marketing material to reflect the new energy ratings, and will introduce redesigned, Energy Star-rated ice-and-water dispensing French door refrigerators early next year.

LG French Door Refrigerator No Longer EnergyStar Rated

From PRNewswire: In coordination with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), LG Electronics USA Inc. has revised the energy ratings on five current refrigerator models.

Refrigerator testing rules used by DOE have been in place since 1979. In light of different applications of these rules in the appliance industry to today’s advanced products, LG has proactively worked with the DOE concerning the test standards.
Based on guidance from the DOE about its interpretation of the testing rules, the energy rating has been changed for five current LG “French Door” models with ice and water dispensers in the door: LFX23961, LFX25971, LFX21971, LMX25981 and LMX21981. For these models, LG is voluntarily suspending its participation in the Energy Star program. Five discontinued LG models also are affected: LFX25950, LFX25960, LFX21960, LFX25980 and LFX21980.
LG Electronics USA’s agreement with the DOE includes a comprehensive program for consumers — an energy-saving modification to previously-purchased refrigerators and cash payments to consumers for incremental energy costs. A similar program will be implemented for comparable Kenmore-brand “TRIO” models designed and manufactured by LG Electronics. This only affects Kenmore French Door models with ice and water dispensing through the door having model numbers starting with 795.
For consumers who have already purchased these models, LG is offering a three-part program:
    1.  LG is offering to modify consumers' refrigerators to make them more
        energy efficient.  LG is making arrangements to visit consumers' homes
        to modify their refrigerator.  This will lower the energy consumption
        over the life of the product and is free of charge.

    2.  Consumers will receive a cash payment for past energy usage.  LG is
        providing a one-time cash payment to cover the difference between the
        new measured energy rating and the amount listed on the original
        EnergyGuide label at the time the product was purchased.

    3.  Consumers will receive cash payments for future energy usage. LG will
        provide a cash payment each year over the expected useful life of the
        product.  These payments will cover the difference between the new
        measured energy rating of the refrigerator with the energy-saving
        modification and the energy usage listed on the EnergyGuide label.
In cooperation with its retailers, LG will attempt to contact all previous purchasers of the affected units to arrange the in-home modification and the payments. Consumers who purchased the affected models can also register to participate in the program and get more information by mail or by calling a special hotline (1-888-848-1266) or online at http://www.LGrefrigeratoroffer.com.
LG Electronics is a long-time partner in the voluntary Energy Star program, and the vast majority of LG appliance products continue with their Energy Star ratings. The company plans to introduce redesigned, Energy Star-rated ice-and-water-dispensing French Door refrigerators in early 2009. In the meantime, steps have been taken to ensure that labeling and marketing materials will reflect the new energy consumption information for the affected models.

LG, Sharp, Chunghwa to Plead Guilty to Price-Fixing

LG Display Co. Ltd., Sharp Corp. and Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd., three leading Asian electronics manufacturers, have agreed to plead guilty to price-fixing and pay a total of 585 million dollars in fines, the US Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

South Korea’s LG Display will pay the largest fine, 400 million dollars, the second-highest criminal fine ever imposed by the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, the department said in a statement.

From Yahoo Finance:

It said Japan’s Sharp would pay a fine of 120 million dollars while Chunghwa would pay a fine of 65 million dollars.

The Justice Department said the three companies had agreed to plead guilty for their roles in conspiracies to fix prices of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels used in computer monitors and notebooks, televisions, mobile phones and other electronic devices.

The price-fixing conspiracies had a direct impact on computer, television and cellular telephone manufacturers such as Apple, Dell and Motorola, the department noted.

Tops in Customer Satisfaction

According to a new study by J.D.Powers and associates, Customer satisfaction was highest among owners of LG and Samsung washer and dryers than other brands.

This is LG’s third consecutive year in the firm’s 2008 Laundry Appliances Study, while Samsung ranked highest among all clothes dryer manufacturers.

The study measured customer satisfaction with washers and dryers based on performance in six factors: ease of use; features (such as the number of settings available and appliance capacity); performance (including energy efficiency, noise level and how well the appliance functions); styling and feel; warranty; and value.

According to Twice.com, LG achieved a score of 831 on a 1,000-point scale, performing particularly well in four of six factors: performance, features, ease of use, and styling. Following closely in the washer rankings with a score of 829 was Samsung, which performed consistently well across all factors. Sears’ Kenmore Elite brand ranked third with a score of 819, performing well in the ease of use and features factors.

Samsung scored highest in customer satisfaction with clothes dryers (833), performing particularly well in the performance and warranty factors. LG followed Samsung in the rankings with a score of 829, scoring high in ease of use, styling and feel, and features. Kenmore Elite followed with a score of 815.

The study found that while effective cleaning or drying performance is the most important driver of overall satisfaction, energy efficiency is also critical to the majority of consumers (see story above). Laundry appliance owners also cited capacity and price as the two most important considerations in selecting a washer or dryer, J.D. Power reported.

Whirlpool Drops Part of Patent Suit Against LG

Earlier this year, Whirlpool filed a patent infringement suit against LG Electronics.  Just last week LG announced that Whirlpool has abandoned part of its patent case against LG and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued a ruling to that effect.

However, the company voluntarily withdrew suits over two of the five patents in the case in May, and the ITC’s partial termination decision came in June, LG said. The three other suits are still pending.

“We submitted documents with the ITC which show the five patents do not belong to Whirlpool,” an LG Electronics spokesman told Dow Jones Newswires.

In May, Whirlpool also filed a suit against LG with the U.S. District Court of Delaware over the infringement of seven patents. It has now abandoned a suit regarding one of those patents, the LG spokesman said.

LG Appliance Rebate

If you have been considering buying a new kitchen appliance, now might be the time to act. LG is offering a rebate of up to $500 on their kitchen appliances. The deal starts at $250 for two appliances and goes up to the $500 if you buy four. You can outfit your whole kitchen if you choose, as LG makes gas and electric ranges, dishwashers, refrigerators and microwaves, all of which are part of the rebate program. The offer ends May 12, 2008. You can view the details here.