South Korean company LG Electronics is shifting its focus to its electric vehicle and energy businesses as its smartphone division continues to struggle in terms of sales. It was also found out that Samsung’s crosstown rival has been trying to acquire an automotive light maker as it makes changes to its priorities. 

LG’s second-in-command Vice Chairman Koo Bon-joon revealed on Tuesday that the V30 maker will henceforth prioritize its electric vehicle  and energy businesses, and it will continue to do so in the next 30 years. “We are always putting energy, including electric vehicles, first (among new growth businesses),” Koo Bon-joon told Korea Herald. “In the next 30 years, we will be engaged in energy businesses that will look at resources such was water and air with long-term perspectives.”

There are speculations that LG could be planning to produce its own electric cars. Such speculations surfaced after industry sources found out that LG affiliates have been expanding investments in projects related to electric vehicle components. 

So far, LG’s electric car business is off to a good start. The company has commenced the construction of a facility for battery packs it will be producing for U.S. electric vehicles. LG Display is also focused on manufacturing automotive displays for car companies. LG could be planning to venture into making automotive lights next, for the company is reportedly in the process of trying to acquire Austria-based ZKW, which specializes in premium lighting systems for automobiles, trucks and motorcycles.

Though LG’s vehicle component division has incurred approximately 60 billion won (US$55 million) in losses, it managed to grow about 2.6 trillion won (US$2.38 billion) in business up until the third quarter of 2017. Moreover, LG is anticipating profits to come in around 2019. 

LG has already established partnerships with Volkswagen, GM and Mercedes-Benz. However, the electronics company still wants to increase the number of its partners. It is currently in talks with Jaguar Land Rover. It was also reported in late October that LG, as well as Samsung, met with Tesla officials to discuss electric car batteries

Koo Bon-jon’s statements coincide with LG’s reinforced focus on business-to-business areas. Samsung’s neigboring competitor is after all shifting its focus from business-to consumer areas because the performance of its smartphone business isn’t as good as expected. 

So to answer the question if LG has given up on its smartphone business, it’s a big “No!” The company has only shifted its focus to different areas, but it will still continue releasing new smartphones. Besides, IBTimes learned earlier this year that the company already saw an improvement on its sales figures in the U.S. 

LG As LG’s smartphone business continues to struggle, the company has reportedly decided to shift its focus to its other businesses. Photo: Reuters/Axel Schmidt