BUSINESS

LG Hausys moves to become global leader

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Dec 26, 2011 - 16:26
  • Updated : Dec 26, 2011 - 20:30
Firm promotes localization efforts for markets in the U.S., China and Russia


LG Hausys, the country’s top building and decorative materials company, said Monday it is striving to position itself as a top global player through its localization efforts in overseas markets.

The firm said that it is concentrating on securing dominant position in nearby markets, such as China, by announcing the construction of a new manufacturing plant in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province in September. Through its investment of $60 million, the factory to be built on 215,000 square meters of land will become the second manufacturing plant for the firm, with the first completed in Tianjin in 1997.

The new manufacturing plant will contain a factory for building and decorative materials and one for high functional materials and subparts, as well as a research and development center, according to company officials. The construction of the first facility for building and decorative materials is set to be completed by next year.

In a related effort, it additionally completed construction on a 33,000 square-meter factory for automobile materials in Tianjin in October with a 30 billion won investment.
LG Hausys chief executive Han Myeung-ho (center) and other company executives take part in a groundbreaking ceremony with Chinese government officials after the firm announced its plan to build a second manufacturing plant in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province in September. (LG Hausys)

LG Hausys’ products that focus on catering to Chinese customers ― such as environment-friendly wallpaper Eco Hera and red ASA windows ― are part of the localization efforts that contributed to its sales jump in China.

ASA windows alone have recorded 40 billion won in yearly sales, four times that of the Korean market, according to company officials.

The firm has also set up a website exclusively for Chinese customers not only to focus on the market, but to increase the awareness of its premium interior product lineup, its officials said.

Apart from the Chinese market, the company has been moving its attention toward the U.S. market as part of its globalization moves, signing an agreement with No. 1 U.S. carpet firm Shaw to provide PVC flooring goods in the U.S. and Canada.

Making use of Georgia-based Shaw’s 44 logistic centers and 35,000 retail shops across the region, LG Hausys plans to promote its items and brand, becoming the sole provider of PVC flooring in the market.

The company has also agreed to launch a joint venture with Germany’s glass processing specialist Interpane in Ulsan, South Gyeongsang Province, by early next year.

The two firms signed a contract to invest a total of 100 billion won in manufacturing energy-efficient glass last year.

The glass is designed to block ultraviolet and infrared rays from outside. LG Hausys will take an 80 percent stake, while Interpane gets the remaining 20 percent.

Apart from such ongoing overseas projects, the firm is also aiming to expand its share in the Russian market, introducing 50 major customers from the former Soviet Union region to the company’s eco-friendly building materials and its production process last month.

LG Hausys invited customers from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia to Seoul for a six-day trip, giving them opportunities to take a look at the firm’s factories in Ulsan and Cheongju as well as its premium interior display center in southern Seoul.

Since entering the Russian market in 2005, it set up a corporate office there in 2008 and is seeking to grab a bigger share in premium products.

“In a bid to maintain our top spot in the industrial reorganization, we will put a priority on our leading projects and find the company’s differentiation point for overall value creation and innovation,” said LG Hausys chief executive Han Myeung-ho. “As the development of new markets and the expansion of business partners become important amid the sluggish global economy, we plan to increase the portion of overseas businesses to more than 40 percent by successfully performing tasks with LG Hausys-invested factories in the U.S. and China.”

By Cho Ji-hyun (sharon@heraldcorp.com)