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The History of Kelvinator Company

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They began steadily purchasing the base ice boxes from the Grand Rapids Refrigeration Company in 1918. . During the year, the company produced sixty-seven such refrigerators. By 1923, the Kelvinator Company held 80 percent of the American market for electric refrigerators.

Within ten years of foundation, in 1925, the Kelvinator Corporation produced the industry’s first self-contained electric home refrigerator. On July 3, 1925, Kelvinator bought Nizer Corporation in a tri-party merger valued at $20,000,000. Jamshed Desai originally controlled Kelvinator India Limited (KIL). The Kelvinator brand belonged to Electrolux Group but was franchised to KIL in which Electrolux had about 13% shareholding. In the 1970-1980, Kelvinator was the leader in the refrigerator market in India. However, during the period of time 1991-1993, Kelvinator had hard times; it was the first time when they had market share losses. Expensive structures, old factories and investing in other areas of market like mopeds didn’t helped. By 1994, the company lost its positions to Godrej. In 2000 Kelvinator’s market share was down to 16% from 19%. The company still was in hard situation; dwindling market share, falling sales and rising losses. Such rivals like Whirpol, LG and Samsung on the other hand, increased their market share.

In Frost Free, Kelvinator gained four per cent market share within one year of launch. In the direct cool segment, the combined company had a share of 27 per cent in 2001. In 2002, the company has a market share of around eight per cent, which is expected to go up in the current year due to the expansion plan including consolidation of its washing machine manufacturing facility at Butibolri in Maharashtra.

Before the liberalization of the Indian economy, only a few companies like Kelvinator, Godrej, Allwyn, and Voltas were the major players in the consumer durables market, accounting for no less than 90% of the market. Then, after the liberalization, foreign players like LG, Sony, Samsung, Whirlpool, Daewoo, and Aiwa came into the picture. Today, these players control the major share of the consumer durables market. 30 Brand Building


  • A good example of how a well-known and popular brand suffers due to a lack of adequate marketing support
  • Early entrants in the market
  • Limited portfolio of models
  • Lower brand visibility and indifferent dealers

Electrolux (which has bought over the brand since January 1997)

  • bolster the brand
  • Kelvinator will be the flagship brand straddling most of the market segments
  • Kelvinator being present in India for a long time and popular as a brand which is the “coolest one”, was chosen ahead of others.

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