By Adam Coleman

MELBOURNE: Electrolux today announced plans to remove Simpson from the company’s cooking portfolio and showcased the Australian-manufactured Electrolux E:Line and commercial styled E:Pro ranges.

“The point of this launch is just to show the breadth of Electrolux itself,” Electrolux director – cooking and dishwashing, John Brown told at a function in Melbourne attended by world renowned chef, Tetsuya Wakuda.

“[With] Electrolux AEG, Electrolux gallery, E:line and E:pro we have a position in the market that caters for a lot of design tastes, when it comes to people thinking about what they will choose to fit out there homes. This launch is more tailored to the commercial market than the retailers,” he said.

In August this year, Electrolux will have a further launch across all its brands.

“Our retail customers are going to want to know what we are doing with the whole brand portfolio.”

“We will be launching a roadshow around the country with Westinghouse, Electrolux and then the big change, we are in the process of removing Simpson from the cooking market and Chef is taking it place.”

The reason for this is two fold explains Brown.

“Simpson is not a strong brand in cooking and the kitchen is very much design orientated – it is open plan and on display. Brand and design are very important in the consumer’s purchasing decision. Simpson is a brand that sits very comfortably in the laundry but has not been so aspirational for the kitchen. Chef however has decades of experience in the kitchen and is recognised as a cooking brand,” he said.

“You will also no longer see Electrolux and Chef dual branded. So this is deliberately Electrolux branded products with a very unique and different styling that separates it quite a way from where Westinghouse has been.”

Brown explains that many observers found the Electrolux Chef brand very close to Westinghouse.

“Our new offering is aesthetically and technically quite different so Electrolux stands on its own two feet with a credible product offering, credible brand image and more premium than Westinghouse. The dual branding of Electrolux and Chef will cease in September,” he said.

“The desire has always bin to provide a premium state for Electrolux over Westinghouse and by ceasing dual branding and with the launch of the new products we have, it is achievable today,” Brown said.

With 10 models, the Electrolux E:Line is designed to flexible and create visual harmony and includes a range of ovens that claim to be so intuitive no manual is required, induction cooktops, gas and ceramic cooktops, a rangehood made from stainless steel and grey glass, dishwashrs that can be disguised behind a door or matched to cabinetry along with a range of modular fridges. The E:Line is scheduled for a September release to selected retailers.

The Electrolux E:pro range also features 10 models featuring finger proof resistant stainless steel. On display were a freestanding cooker with a large capacity of 113 litres, a rangehood with a multi layer filter trap, a dishwasher with five programs, AAA water rating and 3.5 energy star rating and a mix and match fridge collection. The E:Pro range is due for release late in 2006 and will also be available to selected retailers.