chapter  8
16 Pages

. JOINING THE HIGH-TECH RACE

By the late 1970s, Chung Ju Yung had become increasingly concerned about the future of heavy industries and construction, the backbone of his conglomerate. Both markets were soft, and Chung felt he needed a hedge against economic downturns. Looking for more balance in his company, he became interested in developing a new product line that he could export. In 1978, Chung created the Hyundai Heavy E lectrical Company to explore the feasibi lity of manufacturing home appliances for both the domestic and international markets, but he soon concluded that this industry offered insufficient prospects to justify the investment. His attention then turned from electrical products to electronics. In 1982, at the age of sixty-six, he formed KDK Electronics, a joint venture designed to secure advanced electronics technology. His strategy was simple. He would combine American technology and engineering expertise with Korean production capabilities to manufacture and sell state-of-the-art electronic products at bargain-basement prices. The products would be designed in the United States, manufactured in Korea, and then sold in the United States and anywhere else he could find a market.