[THE INVESTOR] LG Electronics’ acquisition of Austrian automobile parts maker ZKW earlier this year surprised many because it signaled its increased efforts in the vehicle components segment to challenge crosstown rival Samsung Electronics.
Reflecting the firm’s high hopes, CEO Cho Seong-jin pledged more investments in ZKW when he recently visited its headquarters in Wieselburg.
LG Electronics CEO Cho Seong-jin (first from right)
“ZKW will play a vital role in LG’s audacious journey in the new sector, and Wieselburg will be the starting point,” Cho said during his visit on Sept. 5 after the IFA electronics trade show wrapped up in Berlin, where he delivered a keynote speech .
Cho met with the ZKW’s management team, including CEO Oliver Schubert and 2,000 employees, to guarantee them full operational independence. He was flanked by almost a dozen LG executives, including CFO Jeong Do-hyung and Lee Woo-jong, head of the vehicle components division.
Founded in 1938, ZKW is a leading headlight systems company, supplying to top-tier car brands such as Audi, Jaguar, Rolls-Royce and Porsche. Last month, LG closed the acquisition deal for 770 million euros (US$895.30 million) for a 70 percent stake.
It may be recalled that Samsung is also trying to expand its presence in the car components segment. It acquired audio and connected car systems firm Harman International for US$8 billion in 2016.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)