Renault Samsung Motors, South Korea's Number 5 car manufacter will export its SM3 compact sedan in partnership with Japan’s Nissan Motor. The SM3 is a Koreanized version of the Nissan Altima.
At a press conference in Samsong-dong, southern Seoul, the car maker said the SM3 sedan will be exported worldwide under the Nissan brand from January. He added that about 30,000 units per annum will be produced in the Pusan plant for export use.
Renault SA plans to expand investment in South Korea to develop it into a strategic hub to further advance into China and Europe.
In Korea, Renault Samsung upgrades the interior of the SM3 (based on the Altima) and has given the SM3 a dynamic exterior design to suit the needs of Korean customers in their 20s and growing number of female drivers. Some see the SM3 as a move by Renault Samsung to the Hyundai Sonata.
It felt the move to export means Renault Samsung would be placed in an important position in which the Korean subsidiary would also supply more models including a sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and more sedans for the Renault-Nissan alliance.
Renault Samsung is about to unveil the first SUV model in coordination with Renault SA and Nissan. The SUV will be produced in the Pusan plant from 2007.
Renault SA plans to invest $600 million over the next three years in Korea. A great part of the money has been set aside in developing gasoline engines for the SUV to be released in 2007.