August 30, 2014

Samsung’s Latest Includes New Induction Range – Lower Laundry Pricing

Samsung Electronics America will add induction technology to its cooking appliance line this fall.

Details are sketchy, but the company said the freestanding model will be produced entirely in-house.

“It’s gorgeous,” said James Politeski, sales and marketing VP for Samsung digital appliances. “The controls are intuitive, more accessible and very cool.”

Joining the induction unit will be Samsung’s first gas-fueled ranges. Two models are also set to ship this fall, along with a $600 speed oven that features microwave and electric heating.

In laundry, Samsung has added a step between its opening price point $999 front-load washer and its $1,499 front-load steam washer. The new, Energy Star-rated WF419 (suggested retail $1,199) also features steam cycles and Samsung’s vibration-reduction technology (VRT), plus 4.3 cubic feet of capacity and a diamond-patterned drum surface that’s gentler on fabrics.

Samsung also lowered its opening price point in front-load laundry to $699 in a Lowe’s-exclusive model that could join the open line next year depending on marketplace conditions. Senior marketing manager Jeffrey Armstrong said the company is hesitant to play in the promotional arena after establishing Samsung as a premium appliance brand — a strategy that has paid off with a 100 percent increase in first-quarter laundry sales.

In refrigeration, Samsung showed three French door models with dual ice makers, a feature it described as an industry first. The dual system includes an external filtered water and ice dispenser in the refrigerator and an additional ice maker in the freezer to provide twice the ice-making ability of standard units.

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.