LG goes up-market with Signature appliances

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LG goes up-market with Signature appliances


LG Electronics executives, including Cho Sung-jin, president of the home appliances unit, left, introduce a Signature washing machine, OLED TV, air purifier and refrigerator at the Seocho R&D Campus in Yangjae-dong, southern Seoul, on Monday. [LG ELECTRONICS]

LG Electronics on Monday took the wraps off its luxury brand for consumer electronics products, Signature.

Signature OLED TVs, refrigerators, washing machines and air purifiers will hit the domestic market starting March 28 and carry price tags up to four times more expensive as ordinary LG white goods. Other major markets will get the line in June.

“We will beef up the premium LG brand with LG Signature, which provides technologically advanced functions and refined designs,” said Cho Sung-jin, president of LG Electronics’ home appliances unit at a press conference Monday at the Seocho R&D Campus in Yangjae-dong, southern Seoul.

The debut comes three months after the world’s second-largest TV producer Samsung Electronics unveiled a plan to follow in the footsteps of Toyota’s luxury vehicle brand Lexus. Korea’s top carmaker, Hyundai Motor, is trying similar tactics with its premium Genesis brand, announced late last year, as it strives to upgrade its image and step up profitability.

LG is targeting the luxury consumer electronics market, which accounts for 5 percent of the total 350 trillion won ($300 billion) global business, or 17.5 trillion won.

A 65-inch Signature OLED TV will sell for 11 million won, more costly than a compact car. Transparent tempered glass forms the back of its 2.75-millimeter (0.1-inch) panel to give a more elegant look. An audio system by U.S. premium speaker producer Harman Kardon has upgraded the sound.

A Signature 906-liter (239-gallon) refrigerator, equipped with a transparent panel in one of the main doors and an automatic door-opening function for people carrying groceries in both arms, will cost 8.5 million won, compared to 2 million won for ordinary fridges of the same capacity.

BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]
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