South Korea's LG Electronics has significantly stepped up its investments in the automotive sector in the last five years, according to the local media citing the company's financial reports.

The reports suggest LG has invested more than KRW4trn (US$3.5bn) in its automotive business in the last five years, with the company having identified the sector as a key engine of growth.

The company has earmarked a further investment of KRW614bn for 2021 for its Vehicle Component Solutions (VS) division, which was created in 2013 and is expected to turn profitable in 2024. 

The division comprises three main product areas: infotainment, powertrain and automotive lighting systems. It is expected to grow its revenues by around 15% annually for the next several years.

This week the company's shareholders approved the spin-off of some of its electric vehicle (EV) components business into a new joint venture with Canada's Magna International. LG will have a 51% stake in the company, which has been tentatively named LG Magna e-Powertrain Company.

Earlier this year LG launched a joint venture with Swiss software firm Luxoft, called Alluto, which will develop solutions for a digital cockpit, in-vehicle infotainment, passenger-seat entertainment and ride-hailing systems based on LG's webOS Auto platform. 

LG's automotive lighting business mainly comprises the ZKW Group, an Austrian company it acquired in 2018.

LG has also joined forces with US tech giant Qualcomm to develop a platform for 5G connected cars, including autonomous vehicles technologies.