Whirlpool considering new trade case against rivals' appliances

Whirlpool (WHR) says it is considering a new offensive against foreign-made household appliances that it maintains are being sold in the U.S. for less than the cost to manufacturer them.

WHR's previous trade complaints have targeted refrigerators and washing machines from Korea and Mexico, but the company says the situation "has gotten worse" as unfairly discounted appliances are now flowing into the U.S. market from China, Thailand and possibly other Asian countries.

WHR has focused on margin expansion and the introduction of high-value innovations on appliances, while largely refraining from margin-busting discounts, and some analysts believe it is losing share in the U.S. appliance market where it has traditionally dominated (Q4 earnings).

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Comments (1)
  • Michael Blair
    , contributor
    Comments (5100) | Send Message
    The courts are a last resort. From what I see Samsung and LG are profitable on their appliances in North America but Whirlpool barely breaks even in Asia. Whirlpool's problems are (a) conventional designs lacking innovation (b) high cost United States labor (c) exposure to the current disruption in Latin America and (d) virtual unpreparedness for the IoT explosion that will affect appliance markets over the next few years. Their strengths are strong brand recognition and U.S. economic recovery. The brand recognition may go the way of Sear's or JC Penny in the U.S. or Eaton's in Canada and become associated with old technology, stodgy designs and high prices.


    This is an era of "innovate or evaporate" and WHR is on the latter track.
    30 Jan 2014, 06:08 PM Reply Like
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