[THE INVESTOR] UK-based electronics maker Dyson will soon announce its official stance on the ongoing legal process involving South Korean rival LG Electronics, according to industry sources Sunday.
Dyson recently filed an injunction with a Seoul court to ban advertisements of LG’s flagship hand-held stick cleaner Cordzero A9, as the market competition intensifies.
“It is unprecedented that Dyson’s headquarters filed such legal action in any country,” an agency official in charge of public relations on behalf of the UK company told The Korea Herald on Sunday. “The UK head office is likely to announce an official stance on the legal process soon.”
In the first hearing held at the Seoul Central District Court on Dec. 8, Dyson’s legal representatives claimed that LG’s television, print and online advertisements of the Cordzero A9 should be halted due to some exaggerative expression in the catch phrases, such as “140-watt sucking power” and “invertor motor speed at 115,000 revolutions per minute.”
Rebutting the claim, LG said the terms and expressions in the ads are proven by an external research institute.
LG launched the Cordzero A9 in June.
Industry observers say the UK firm appears to be taking such action due to what is perceived as favorable consumer responses to the LG product.
LG announced the accumulated sales unit of Cordzero A9 surpassed 100,000 last month, and the company has taken up about 40 percent of the cordless cleaner market that had been dominated by Dyson.
With the legal process just initiated, Dyson was found to have submitted an application for registration as a corporate entity here, raising market speculations that the UK firm is planning an official entry into the Korean market.
“The corporate registration is to smoothly manage imports of Dyson products and sales in the Korean market, and at the moment, we do not expect establishment of a physical office,” the official said.
However, the latest move by the UK company is seen as the company’s strategy to expand its presence in the growing domestic market for cordless vacuum cleaners, while containing strong local competitors like Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics that relaunched similar cordless, stick-type products with enhanced functions this year.
According to data from market researchers GfK and NPD, the Korean market for cordless vacuum cleaners as of 2016 was estimated to be $400 million. The European market was the biggest, at $4.3 billion.
While the global cordless cleaner market grew 41 percent as of early this year, the Korean market surged 65 percent, providing opportunities for electronics makers to take part.
Samsung in September launched its Power Gun to contend with the A9 and Dyson’s V8, promoting its suction power of 150 watts as being greater than LG’s.
By Song Su-hyun/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)