Earlier this month a store employee in Berlin called the police claiming that LG employees had damaged the doors of four high-end washing machines that retail at around $2,700 ahead of a trade show in Germany.
Samsung – LG rivalry continues
While bizarre, the two companies have enjoyed a bitter rivalry for decades. The two compete in numerous arenas from smartphones to televisions and back to home appliances with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:0059935) enjoying the lead in most categories. Samsung had revenues of roughly for times that of LG Electronics Inc. (KRX:066570) (OTCMKTS:LGEAF) but LG has enjoyed recent successes including strong sales of its newest smartphone the G3 at the expense of Samsung.
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Samsung recently saw a drop in its net profit for the first time in years with a lot of that being blamed on poor sales of its flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone.
LG has confirmed the washing machine incident but insists that there was no deliberate vandalism of the machine by its “researchers.” These researchers were in Berlin for the IFA consumer-electronics trade show.
Apparently, an LG president, Jo Seong-jin was involved in the incident. Mr. Jo is the president and chief executive of LG’s home-appliance division. “Our executives, which included a company president, indeed paid this shop a visit to check out a number of products,” LG’s statement said referring to Mr. Jo.
“Unlike washing machines from other companies, a certain company’s washing-machine model was particularly weak on the hinges,” the spokeswoman said, referring to the Samsung washers in a strange statement that confirmed the “research.”
Companies trade statements
“We hope this incident isn’t meant to hurt us, the world’s No. 1 seller of washing machines,” the LG spokeswoman said.
While LG seems content with admitting to the incident, Samsung seems genuinely hurt by the affair.
A Samsung spokesman said Sunday that the company had initially decided not to press the washing-machine case further but it had now “concluded that [it] had to get to the bottom of this incident.”
“Despite our best efforts to avoid further confrontation and escalation of the situation, the company in question has tarnished not only Samsung’s brand image but also the reputation of Samsung employees by making slanderous claims that our washing machines were defective,” the statement continued.
So far no statement has been given by the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office into this goofiness.