LG Electronics has started manufacturing smartphones in India, and will for the first time, launch India-specific models in its quest to get back to the highgrowth trajectory in the country.
The South Korean parent company has already inked an agreement with GDN Enterprises, a part of New Delhi-based Optiemus Group, for manufacturing and has started trial production with two models. The lines have been imported from South Korea and will be expanded to include more models, three senior industry executives said.
Local manufacturing will give a price edge to LG since the duties and taxes will come down by more than 10%, the executives said.
LG's growth rate in India had been impacted in last few years due to poor consumer sentiments impacting sales of white goods. In 2014-15, the company grew by 12% after three years of no growth. Results for last year are yet to be declared.
While LG has for long been a leader in refrigerators, washing machines and microwave ovens, it has branched into flat panel televisions to overcome its dependence on the home appliances segment.
Now it wants to rebuild the smartphone business where it had failed to gain share and become a significant player despite several attempts. Kim said he would revamp marketing efforts in India since the products are technologically superior as compared to competition, which is not communicated clearly.