(LEAD) LG Electronics closes solar panel business amid uncertainty
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SEOUL, 23 Feb. (Yonhap) — LG Electronics Inc. said Wednesday it has decided to shut down its solar panel business due to rising costs and fierce competition.
The decision came “as uncertainties in the global solar panel industry continue to rise due to various factors, including price competition and rising raw material costs.”
LG said it would commit more resources to its core business areas, including consumer devices, and other future growth drivers such as robots.
LG’s business solutions division, which manages the solar panel business, will “reorganize its portfolio around key pillars – information technology and information display,” the company said.
It will also strive to “leverage its expertise in renewable energy” in the development of energy storage systems and energy management solutions.
The shutdown of the solar panel business is expected to be completed by June 30, it said, adding that it will provide maintenance support to its existing customers for “a period of time” after the shutdown.
Despite the shutdown, solar panel production will continue through the second quarter of this year, LG Electronics said, “to maintain adequate inventory for future service support.”
Some 900 employees in the energy business sector will be reclassified in other divisions.
Launched in 2010, the South Korean tech giant’s solar panel business has struggled in recent years, with sales falling amid growing competition from Chinese companies armed with cheaper panels.
Last year, the company shut down its mobile phone business after it started 26 years ago, in what it saw as a strategic move to focus more on growth areas such as electric vehicle components, connected devices, smart homes, robotics, artificial intelligence and business. business solutions.