[THE INVESTOR] Amid intense competition in Korea’s auto market, Renault Samsung Motors, the South Korean unit of French carmaker Renault S.A., set a modest goal for this year to sell 270,000 units.
Its goal to sell 100,000 units here and ship 170,000 units remains unchanged from last year’s sales of 276,808 units. Carmakers, however, usually pitch an annual sales target that is about 10 percent higher than expected performance.
Dominique Signora, CEO of Renault Samsung Motors, speaks during a press conference at its headquarters in southern Seoul.
“Customers are at the core of Renault Samsung Motors’ business goal for this year and motivation to achieve our mid- to long-term vision,” said Dominique Signora, CEO of Renault Samsung Motors, during a press conference at its new headquarters in southern Seoul on Feb. 13.
“We will enhance competitiveness by paying closer to customers’ voice and active marketing.”
To step up its value, Renault Samsung Motors will launch the Clio hatchback and electrified light commercial vehicle this year, the company said.
The release of Clio, initially expected last summer, had been pushed back due to soaring demand in Europe, it added.
It remains unclear whether Clio could garner the same attention here, where hatchbacks are an unfamiliar segment and drivers’ taste have leaned toward sport utility vehicles.
With regards to GM Korea’s latest decision to shut down its biggest factory here, Signora said “it is difficult to talk about a rival company. Korea is a rewarding market, because customers have high standards. This sets competition among quality cars with good pricing.”
In 2017, Renault Samsung Motors came in at last among local carmaker in terms of domestic sales and sold 10,537 units, data from the company showed.
In terms of exports, it was the only carmaker that saw a rise. It shipped 176,271 units, marking its best-ever performance.
Shipments of top-selling QM6 midsize SUV amounted to 43,755 units, up more than sevenfold from 2016, bolstering the stance of its Busan factory within Renault Group.
The carmaker’s factory in Busan that produces over 260,000 units annually stands as the fourth most competitive among 50 plants within the group on 120,000 units of Nissan Rogue crossover shipped to the US.
By Kim Bo-gyung/The Korea Herald (email@example.com)