LG Electronics (Thailand) Co. plans to invest 800 million baht (approx. U.S. $20.5 million) in its Thai operations this year. Funds will be used to upgrade the production line for air-conditioners, and for research and development (R&D).
Part of the investment, worth 20 million baht (approx. $511,243), will go into the LG Air Conditioning Academy, located in Rayong. The new academy will train staff for the company's facilities throughout Asia.
Sung Nakkil, president and CEO, said the company had set a sales target for both window-type and split-type air-conditioners this year of 1.4 million units. Nakkil said he was optimistic that the investment would drive sales of LG air-conditioners to grow from 100,000 units in 2005, to compete with the top-ranking Mitsubishi brand.
LG also hopes to boost its presence in the commercial air-conditioner market, now led by the Trane and York brands.
S. S. Kim, CEO and vice-chairman of LG Electronics Inc., said that the investment would make Thailand a production and training hub for the local and international markets.
The academy would provide engineering personnel for the region, and upgrade service standards for high-technology LG products.
According to Kim, Thailand was a key production base for LG electrical goods such as washing machines, plasma TVs, and air-conditioners. He noted that the establishment of the LG Air Conditioning Academy in Thailand would help LG become one of the world's top-three leading brands by 2010.
LG expected the academy to employee 800 personnel in 2006 and 1,200 in 2007. (Bangkok Post)
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