By Kim Jung-hwan and Minu Kim
Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings said on Monday it has signed a memorandum of understanding with German robotics maker KUKA AG for exclusive rights to sell KUKA products in the Korean market.
Under the agreement, Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings will sell 6,000 KUKA industrial robots by 2021 to large electronics companies by using its sales network and maintenance technology.
KUKA is the world’s third largest robot maker and it has increased R&D spending since being acquired by China’s Midea Group in 2016.
“We also plan to jointly research and develop industrial robots and to produce KUKA’s robot products in Korea. And we will also independently produce various industrial robots to transform Korean home appliance and automotive factories into smart lines,” said a spokesperson of Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings.
Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings’ robot division has the largest market share in Korea’s industrial robot market, including robots for automobile manufacturing and LCD delivery.
The division has an annual production capacity of more than 8,000 robots. The company’s partnership with KUKA is in the spotlight as it was directly led by Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings’ management support division head and vice president Chung Ki-seon, the heir apparent of the family-controlled conglomerate.