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The Korea Herald
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THE INVESTOR
May 24, 2024

Automobiles

Renault Korea overhauls brand strategy to overcome sluggish performance

  • PUBLISHED :April 03, 2024 - 14:04
  • UPDATED :April 03, 2024 - 14:04
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Renault Korea`s new diamond emblem seen on its New Renault Arkana compact SUV model (Yonhap)

Renault Korea Motors, the South Korean unit of French automaker Renault Group, announced a revamp of its brand strategy Wednesday, as it seeks a breakthrough in prolonged sluggish sales.

The company announced a change of its official corporate name from Renault Samsung Motors to the more simplified Renault Korea. It also announced that it will begin using the group's diamond emblem instead of the typhoon-shaped one that it has used since 2000, when it was sold to Renault from South Korea's Samsung Group.

"We changed the name because we felt that (the word motors) was not at all representing who we are and what we want to represent," Renault Korea CEO Stephane Deblaise said in a press conference in Seoul.

Vehicle models being sold in the domestic market will also undergo new brandings.

The XM3 compact SUV will be newly released under the name New Renault Arkana in tandem with its global counterpart model. It will also feature the diamond emblem.

The QM6 midsize SUV will also feature the diamond emblem and be sold as the New Renault QM6. The SM6 midsize sedan, however, will maintain both its preexisting name and emblem, as the company plans to discontinue the model in the future, Deblaise said.

Further, the company unveiled a new brand strategy, named Electro Pop, which combines Renault's corporate heritage with the latest innovations and technology under three thematic pillars of electrification, connectivity and user safety.

Renault Korea also said it plan to launch a new hybrid SUV, currently in development under the project name Aurora, later this year.

The new branding push by the company comes amid prolonged sluggish sales of its cars both at home and abroad.

Renault Korea sold slightly over 100,000 vehicle units last year, down 38.5 percent from a year ago. In 2017, the company sold over 270,000 vehicles in the domestic and overseas markets.

The company's reduction in its model lineup has often been attributed to its dwindling sales. In the past, Renault Korea has discontinued major models, such as the SM7, SM5 and SM3, reducing its product lineup to three models in South Korea.

Starting with the Aurora, Deblaise said the company plans to introduce at least one new vehicle model in South Korea per year in the coming years.

In an effort to boost its market presence here, the company last month unveiled a plan to invest 118 billion won (US$87.5 million) in reinforcing its production base in South Korea's southeastern port city of Busan by 2028.

It also opened its first upscale flagship store in the country, named Renault Seongsu, in Seoul. It features a multifunctional cultural space, including exhibition halls, service centers, cafes and pop-up stores. (Yonhap)

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