South Korea’s LG Electronics has established a research and development (R&D) subsidiary in Vietnam to help it respond to rapidly growing demand for electric vehicle (EV) components.

LG said the operations at its existing R&D centre in Hanoi would be incorporated into the new subsidiary, called LG Electronics Development Vietnam. The new company would initially be tasked with the development and verification of software for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems – a major focus for the company’s mobility business.

Staffing levels would be increased 30% to 1,000 by 2024 through the recruitment of skilled engineers.

LG regards IVI systems, which simultaneously provide a variety of driving related information and entertainment functions including audio, video and navigation (AVN), as a key technology driver for future mobility.

US market research firm Strategic Analytics regards LG as a global market leader for IVI systems with a 23% market share.

LG said the new R&D subsidiary was part of its strategy to strengthen its position in the global auto parts market and lead the fast approaching autonomous driving era.

The company has three key automotive systems businesses – IVI systems, lighting and headlight systems through its ZKW Group subsidiary, and e-powertrains through its joint venture with Magna International.

The company said in a statement: “We will continue to provide mobility solutions that deliver differentiated value to our global auto industry customers.”

Vietnam is home to VinFast, part of the country’s largest conglomerate Vin Group, which began EV production at the end of 2021. It is working to establish vehicle manufacturing in the US by 2025.

Hyundai Motor Group, comprising the Hyundai and Kia brands, sold 160,000 vehicles in Vietnam last year or around a third of total sales in the country.