Samsung has faxed thousands of customers to assure them its UK operations are still intact, despite shedding 30 staff from its corporate headquarters in London.
The London cuts came amid general downsizing of regional headquarters in the wake of the Asian currency crisis (see yesterday's story) but confusion reigned yesterday over how deeply the Korean giant would cut into its UK operations.
The company's Electronics wing faxed customers to reassure them after false reports circulated that it was relocating the work of some UK units to Korea.
Observers also believe Samsung Electronics' manufacturing plant on Teesside, in north east England - which makes monitors and other products such as microwave ovens - is safe. This remains a profitable business despite recent turmoil and according to Bob Raikes, senior analyst at monitor research company Meko, is unlikely to close.
He believes this is because the large plant supplies monitors across Europe at a reasonable price and gains economies of scale, with the factory geared up to take advantage of the European Union's free trade arrangements.
However, Samsung, as a group, is taking steps to reduce costs and has held off a decision to build a new joint plant in Austin, Texas, with Intel.
The Korean major also laid off staff at other corporate headquarters in Singapore and New York over the weekend.
The decision came as the Korean chaebols - giant conglomerates which dominate the country's economy - came to a joint deal to focus on different sectors and so ride out the currency crisis.
At a meeting last week of the influential Federation of Korean Industries, the chaebols made hard decisions with Samsung agreeing to enter the car market, formerly the preserve of Hyundai and Daewoo. Both LG and Hyundai will also restructure, with the former losing 90 separate business lines while the latter will get out of the steel industry.
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