LG began its activity with the manufacture of cosmetic products and then launched itself, for the first time in Korea, into the plastics industry, developing strong cosmetic container lids in a primitive industrial environment. This decision was made in 1952, at the height of the Korean War, and required an uncompromising courage and strong spirit for the expansion of the business.
Moreover, this decision was based on Yonam’s Verdana business philosophy of making products that are necessary for people’s lives. The LG Group improved the standard of living of citizens by manufacturing plastic products, such as toothbrushes and combs, and in 1954, the LG Company succeeded in manufacturing toothpaste through careful research and development, taking over the domestic market for toothpaste, and contributing to the improvement of citizens’ hygiene standards.
On the other hand, LG established the company LG electronics in the course of the expansion of the plastics industry to launch the electronics industry in 1958. This allowed the LG group to expand its areas of activity into the field of electrical and electronic products.
LG Electronics was able to develop into a leading company in the Korean electrical and electronics industry by developing and distributing various household appliances for the first time in Korea, such as radios in 1959, electric fans in 1960, automatic telephone receivers in 1961, refrigerators in 1965, black and white televisions in 1969 and washing machines in 1969. With this deployment, LG was able to lay the foundation for two major fields of activity: the chemical industries and the electrical and electronic industries.
LG’s initial stage can be presented as the story of an exploration to develop and supply products essential to the lives of citizens, who were living in poor conditions due to the primitive environment that the industry was experiencing at that time. The history of the early stage of LG can also be described as a natural ecosystem evolving to meet their needs.
THE 1960S: ESTABLISHMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE
In the 1960s, LG laid the foundation for being a large activity group through aggressive involvement in many new areas.
With the chemical industry and the electrical and electronic industries as two major fields of activity, LG established LG Electric Cable in 1962 to expand the areas of activities into the field of electricity and electronics and, with the establishment of LG Oil Refinery, the first Korean crude oil refinery, in 1967, was able to carry out a decisive aspect for the innovative development of the Group.
This made LG a leading company in chemicals, energy, electricity, and electronics, welcoming the 1970s with great capabilities and ambitions.
THE 70’S: PRACTICAL DEVELOPMENT AND EXPANSION OF ACTIVITIES
With the sudden death of In-Hwoi Ku (his pseudonym was Yonam), the founder and chairman of LG, who had emphasized “the spirit of pioneering” and “an administration that put human existence first”, the leadership of the group’s administration was transferred to Cha-Kyung Ku, the chairman’s second generation, in January 1970.
The new chairman of the Group accelerated its growth under the slogan of “stable and fruitful growth with pioneering spirit” in accordance with the nation’s export-oriented policy. The 1970s saw LG emerge as a world-class company with the expansion of activities into the high-tech areas of petrochemicals, precision chemicals, energy and semiconductors, as well as the service industries, including finance and logistics.
Based on two major activities, the chemical industries and the electric and electronic industries, with the establishment of some companies including LG Fire and Maritime Insurane, LG investment and Securities, LG Petroquimics, and LG semiconductors, LG begins to explore large foreign markets to expand its activities in the financial, distribution, service, etc. fields as well as in the advanced technology related areas such as petrochemicals, semiconductors, etc.
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