Electrolux won Canstar Blue’s customer satisfaction award for refrigerators in 2014. We examine why Australians customers were so satisfied with their Electrolux fridges.
The people behind the name
Electrolux was founded in Sweden in 1901 as a manufacturer of lamps for railway stations. Its founder, Axel Lennart Wenner-Gren, was a Swedish entrepreneur and one of the wealthiest men in the world during the 1930s.
In contrast to many other appliance company founders, Wenner-Gren was not an engineer or an inventor; he was a salesman, and a brilliant one at that. In 1908, he spotted a heavy-looking, expensive American vacuum cleaner being sold in Vienna, and he knew no one would be able to afford it. He decided to make a lighter, cheaper model and sell one to every home in Europe.
When electric lighting began to take over the market from Electrolux’s kerosene models, they branched out into home appliances. They began by producing domestic electric vacuum cleaners in 1912. Electrolux soon expanded into refrigerators in 1925, washing machines in 1951, dishwashers in 1959 and restaurant equipment in 1962.
Named “Elektrolux” in 1919 for the European market, it was renamed “Electrolux” to accommodate its growing Western reach in 1957. In 2011, Electrolux introduced its first non-Swedish CEO, Keith McLoughlin.
The company is now the second largest appliance manufacturer in the world. In 1918 it had 400 employees, and today it employs almost 60,000 people. The company sells more than 40 million products every year to customers all over the world, their products ranging from washing machines to barbeques.
When Electrolux started producing refrigerators
Electrolux first began making refrigerators in 1925. For a time, the company manufactured refrigerators locally in Australia, but their last plant here closed down in 2013.
Some Electrolux refrigerator innovations
1922: Electrolux buys the companies of engineers Baltzar von Platen and Carl Munters in order to mass-produce their invention, the absorption refrigerator. It was a university project they created, but they didn’t have the money themselves to manufacture many models. The first Electrolux absorption models were launched in 1925.
1930: Electrolux launches the first built-in refrigerator, a compact product for modern apartment kitchenettes.
1931: Electrolux launches L1, the first air-cooled refrigerator.
1940: Electrolux launches the L300, which has a spring-assisted door that opens at a touch.
1993: Electrolux becomes the first appliance manufacturer to launch refrigerators that are completely CFC-free. CFC is a chemical compound that depletes ozone.
Electrolux now offers 29 different fridges and freezers in Australia, including single door models, French door styles and combination fridge/freezers.
Many of their models come with built-in water and ice dispensers and adjustable shelving solutions.
Some even come with the Fresh Sense deodoriser, which absorbs strong odours like seafood and cheese.
Other refrigerator brands we rated
Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to regularly survey 3,000 Australian consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used a fridge in the last three years – in this case, 776 Australians.
The other refrigerator brands in this year’s survey are:
- Fisher & Paykel
You can view the refrigerator survey results here.