LANDDaewoo MotorCompanyAddressing MBA students, faculty, and managers at the NationalUniversity of Singapore, Woo-Choong Kim, founder and chairman ofSouth Korea’s Daewoo Group said, “My plan for the future is tobuild Daewoo into a world leading automobile producer.” Manyin the audience were sceptical, but having just heard of the greatachievements Kim had accomplished at Daewoo over the last 20 years,they had at least to give him the benefit of the doubt. Would Daewoo bea major world player in the automobile business? Is Kim likely to performyet another business miracle for South Korea? How would he do it?These were some of the questions lingering in the minds of theaudience.BACKGROUNDWoo-Choong Kim, Chairman of Daewoo, was born in Taegu, South Koreain 1936. After graduating from Yonsei University in 1960, he served oneyear on South Korea’s Economic Development Council, a governmentorganization. His business career started with the Hansung IndustrialCompany which he left in 1967 to establish his own business, DaewooIndustrial Co. Ltd. This small textile company has grown to become theDaewoo Group, Korea’s fourth largest conglomerate (chaebol).Today Daewoo is engaged in trading, with 94 overseas branch officesaround the world; in domestic and overseas construction; in shipbuilding;and in the manufacturing of motor vehicles, heavy equipment, machinetools, industrial robots, home appliances, textiles, and other products;and in financial services. The group consists of 18 domestic and 150overseas subsidiaries, with more than 100,000 employees. In 1993, itcase was written by Chin Tiong Tan using public information. It forms a basis for classs;cussion rather than highlights the effective or ineffective handling of an administrativesituation. All currency amounts stated in U.S. dollars. Copyright @ by Chin Tiong Tan.on March 9, 1995, School of Postgraduate Management Studies’ Distinguished Speakers Series,317
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