LG Unveils New European Design Centre
Seoul, Korea, June 24, 2008 --- LG Electronics, a leader in consumer electronics and mobile communications, has announced the opening of its new European Design Centre in Covent Garden, London, UK. The facilities were formally opened by HRH Prince Andrew, The Duke of York, in a ceremony attended by leading members of local government and the UK’s design community.
The Duke of York, who also opened LG’s European headquarters in Slough, UK last year, attended in his role as the Special Representative for International Trade and Investment.
The Duke of York stated: "The UK has long proven itself to be a strong, positive environment for the creative industries, as well as a European base for many multi-national businesses. We are seeing growing investment by companies such as LG in design facilities here and they are very welcome. LG could have chosen any of several global cities for this centre. That they chose London is tremendous news for the UK and testament to the world-class business environment we`re creating here."
The purpose of LG’s new Design Centre is to create European designs based on European consumers’ requirements. The designers will also be called upon to adapt products that will appeal to the European market, but which have been developed elsewhere.
The opening of the Centre also reflects LG’s new business strategy, with increased investment into research and development feeding into regional design capabilities. LG will be investing over US$4.8 million into design programs in Europe in 2008 alone. The first fully European designed product, a mobile handset, is to be unveiled this August.
LG’s European Design Centre will house a multi-national team of 22 expert designers by 2009, from across Europe. The current team already includes British, Irish, Italian, French and German designers. They will design products for LG’s entire range of consumer goods including; mobile handsets and devices, flat-screen TV’s and audio systems, white-goods and other home electronics. It joins a global network of 6 Design Centres, which are part of a wider network including 29 Research and Development Centres. All together these Centres employ 16,000 staff – almost a fifth of LG’s global workforce.
“Our new European Design Centre has been established to provide our design team with the optimum creative environment, which includes extensive libraries and leading technologies to aid in the design process. There are significant cultural and technical differences between Europe and other markets. As a result, for LG to grow its market presence in Europe it must invest in and be sensitive to the consumer’s requirements, while responding to technical and cultural differences,” said Mr James Kim, president and CEO of LG Electronics Europe.
With assistance from Think London, LG chose London and the UK as its European hub due to the business and finance environment, as well as its global position. London is a culturally diverse city that is recognised across the world for its vibrancy, style and creativity. It is home to a large community of experienced designers with knowledge and genuine enthusiasm for consumer electronics, as well as a fertile ground for finding new talent thanks to world-renowned education and training programs.
Michael Charlton, chief executive at Think London, the foreign direct investment agency for London, said: “London has a long established reputation as a strong and innovative centre for design. More than half a million people in London work in the creative industries sector, making it the third largest sector of employment in the city. This combined with strong financial and business links makes it the ideal location for companies such as LG which are making long-term, significant investments in their design capabilities.”
LG’s Design Centre in Milan has now been closed but it was confirmed that all staff at this facility were given the opportunity of similar positions at the new European Centre.