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Daewoo has participated in a wide array of different industries including shipbuilding, industrial equipment, automobiles, and electronics. The company originated in 1967 and is based out of South Korea. Daewoo, meaning "Great Universe" was created by Kim Woo Choong with only $18,000 and grew into a multi-billion dollar global company.

At its peak, it was the country's fourth largest conglomerate with 25 subsidiaries, 100 branches, and 3,500 different products traded in 130 countries.[1] However, Daewoo, at its lowest in 1999, was forced to dismantle after its leader Choong was indicted for corporate malfeasance. The majority of Daewoo's holdings were sold off to other companies.

The Daewoo company name still exists and new leadership is currently striving to become the "World's Best Global Trading and Investment Company." It currently deals in steel, metal, automotives, media and electronics, natural resources, textiles and development. Daewoo's 2006 Annual Report lists sales at US$6.83 billion.[2]


[edit] History

Throughout Daewoo's history it has participated in a wide range of industries. From textiles to ship building, musical instruments to steel. Its diversity is the product of its interconnectedness with the South Korean government.

Initially, the new South Korean leadership of the 1960s sought to achieve economic growth by providing cheap loans to local entrepreneurs. However, with these loans came an expectant loyalty and so Daewoo had to manufacture whatever the government willed. With each new venture came new challenges and thus Daewoo has seen the entire spectrum of possible economic outcomes: from birth to success, bankruptcy to rebirth and a recent return to success.

Formed in 1967 by Kim Woo Choong in South Korea, Daewoo was one of the four largest conglomerates in the nation. The company was provided a cheap loan by the government in order to increase the economy. Choong realized the power of the Korean workforce and thus chose textiles, a labor-intensive industry that would succeed through its use. However, the Korean leaders soon felt Daewoo would help the economy by moving towards industrial manufacturing instead. Soon Daewoo made the big jump from clothes making to shipbuilding. Despite the change in focus Daewoo continued to succeed.

With the 1980s came less protectionism and thus an ever-increasing global focus. Daewoo celebrated the country's new policies by branching out into new markets. It partnered with Sikorsky Aerospace in the U.S. to develop helicopters, started a microwave assembly plant in Lorraine, France, and a VCR manufacturing facility in Northern Ireland.

Choong became more hands-on with his company's strongest industry, shipbuilding, after a slight economic downfall in the late 1980s. Soon the company recovered and by the mid-90s controlled 10 percent of the market, making Daewoo the world's leading shipbuilder.[3]

However, the 1990s brought new problems. Daewoo was suffering from a huge amount of debt caused by extended loans provided by the government. Choong owed upwards of $500,000 a day in interest.[4] Still, he decided to extend himself further abroad by manufacturing and distributing the company's products overseas. By the late 90s Choong was suffering all types of legal problems. He was charged and found guilty of bribery in 1996. By 1999 Daewoo owed its creditors more than $50 billion. In August 1999 the South Korean government mandated the company to break apart because of its massive debts. Choong stepped aside as CEO and was eventually charged with fraud due to alleged false accounting practices in 1997 and 1998.[5] In 2006 Kim Woo Choong was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in jail.[6]

Daewoo Heavy Industries & Machinery was bought out by Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction in April 2005.[7]

[edit] The Company Today

Under new leadership, Daewoo International has re-emerged as a successful participant in a wide range of industries: steel, metal, machinery, automotive, electronics, natural resources, chemicals, textiles, and energy development.

With new CEO Young-Won Kang, Daewoo International strives to become the "World's Best Global Trading and Investment Company".[8] Still based in South Korea, Daewoo is represented in over 170 different nations through trade, project organizing, and resource development. Its 2006 Annual Report lists sales of US$6.83 billion.

[edit] Equipment List

[edit] References

  1. Daewoo. Funding Universe. 2008-09-09.
  2. Daewoo 2006 Annual Report
  3. Daewoo. Funding Universe. 2008-09-09.
  4. Daewoo. Funding Universe. 2008-09-09.
  5. Kim's Fall From Grace at Daewoo. 2008-09-09.
  6. Daewoo Founder, Kim Gets 10-yr. Term Daewoo. 2008-09-09.
  7. Doosan Buys Daewoo for $1.7 Billion. 2008-09-09.
  8. Daewoo International. Daewoo. 2008-09-09.

[edit] External Links