By Sarah Falson
SOUTH KOREA: For the seventh consecutive year, LG Electronics has announced that it was the largest air conditioner seller in the world last year, turning over 12.28 million units – the third consecutive year the brand has shipped over 10 million units.
According to a report by the Korea Times, LG accounted for 19.5 percent of the 62.97 million air conditioning units sold worldwide in 2006.
“Topping the global market for the seventh year running is no small feat,” said LG general manager — marketing, Paul Jenkins.
“The news cements LG’s worldwide reputation as the leader in climate control solutions with an encouraging steady increase in market share and shipping.”
“In Australia as well as in global markets, LG’s point of differentiation is our in-depth insight into consumer trends coupled with the technical superiority of our products. Our innovative and stylish range of ArtCool Inverter air conditioners continue to lead the market in terms of design with the latest model achieving another world-first for LG.
“The new ArtCool Inverter Photochangable gives consumers the ability to add their personal style to the unit by changing the picture on the front panel of the unit. This product has had remarkable up-take in Australia and we predict it will continue to do so throughout 2007,” he said.
According to the company’s South Korea head office, LG has developed 103 new air conditioner models, all with enhanced air-cleaning features such as automatic filter cleaning and automatic sterilisation.
In the year ahead, the company plans to expand production by 10 per cent, and launch its new air conditioner models in South Korea, some of which will eventually be distributed in Australia, joining the ArtCool.
"With innovative features such as the robot cleaning system, LG will satisfy the diverse demands of consumers," said LG executive vice president and chief – air conditioner division, Noh Hwan-yong.
"As we have about 20 per cent annual growth in sales, we will increase the annual production capacity from 14.8 million units to 16 million units and achieve sales of $4.5 billion."
The new air conditioners include technology that sterilises the inside of the heat exchanger and the surface of the cooling pan, killing 99.9 per cent of mould and bacteria, according to LG.
A built-in cleaning system that automatically dusts off the filter, frees users from the need to clean and service the unit as regularly, reducing electricity consumption by 13 per cent, according to the company.
The Korea Times also reported that in order to increase production, LG plans to increase the proportion of its manufacturing that is undergone overseas, from 55 per cent to 60 per cent.