Renault Samsung Motors

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Renault Samsung Motors Co., Ltd.
Native name 르노삼성자동차 주식회사
Type Subsidiary
Industry Automotive
Founded 1994[1]
Headquarters Busan, South Korea
Key people François Provost (Chairman)
Products Automobiles, Luxury Cars
Production output Decrease 132,541 (2013)[2][3][note 1]
Revenue Decrease 3.3 trillion (2013)[4][5]
Operating income Increase ₩44.5 billion (2013)[4][5]
Net income Increase ₩17 billion (2013)[4][5]
Owners Renault (80.1% )
Samsung (19.9% )
Employees 4,387 (December 2013)[2]
Parent Renault
Website renaultsamsungm.com
Renault Samsung Motors
Hangul 르노삼성자동차
Hanja 르노三星自動車
Revised Romanization Reuno Samseong Jadongcha
McCune–Reischauer Rŭno Samsŏng Chadongch'a

Renault Samsung Motors (Korean: 르노삼성자동차, IPA: [ɾɯnoː sʰamsʰʌŋ dʑadoŋtɕʰa]) is a South Korean car manufacturer headquartered in Busan. It was first established as Samsung Motors in 1994 by the chaebol Samsung and started selling cars in 1998, just before South Korea was hit by the Asian financial crisis. Since September 2000, it has been a subsidiary of Renault, although Samsung maintains a minority ownership.

History[edit]

Beginnings: Samsung Group era (1994–2000)[edit]

Renault Samsung Motors Busan Plant

In the early 1990s Samsung's Chairman Kun Hee Lee recognised the automobile industry as the culmination of several others. For the Samsung Group this would allow to leverage resources and technologies from the entire group including Samsung Electrics and Samsung Electronics. He initially tried to take control of Kia, but competition from other bidders and legal restrictions made him to drop the idea. The carmaker was eventually purchased by Hyundai.[6]

Lee decided to create a new carmaker, Samsung Motors (also known as SMI)[7] and a truck manufacturer, Samsung Commercial Vehicles Co., Ltd. (Hangul: 삼성상용차 주식회사; RR: Samseong Sangyongcha Jusikoesa), the latter through Samsung Heavy Industries with Nissan Diesel's support.[8] SMI was established in 1994 and Daegu-based Samsung Commercial Vehicles in 1996.[9][10] Unfortunately for Samsung shortly after SMI started its operations the Asian financial crisis hit.[7] Samsung divested itself of SMI as well as other non-core subsidiaries.[11] SMI was put up for sale, with Daewoo Motors being one of the first interested companies[6][12] but as the crisis deepened was itself bought by GM.[13] Hyundai Motors was also considered as a possible buyer, but corporate politics and strife between the Samsung Group and the Hyundai Group made this impossible. Negotiations with Renault started in December 1998 and in September 2000 the French automaker bought a 70% stake for $560 million.[14]

Samsung Commercial Vehicles was kept by Samsung, but finally it filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2000.[10][11]

A Nissan Cefiro S Touring, which formed the base for an older version of the SM5
Samsung SQ5 1999, later called SM5

Coupled with his personal affection for cars, Lee's dream of building SMI as a global force started out with technical assistance from Nissan,[12] a company which at the time of SMI's early stages was in dire financial straits. SMI's affiliation with Nissan could have been one of the reasons for Renault buying a major share of the company, as Renault had become a major shareholder of Nissan by then. One of the very early planners for SMI has stated that technical affiliations for SMI were initially considered with Volkswagen, BMW or Honda.[15] However, its financial situation had forced Nissan to disclose its technology and engineering expertise to SMI. Also, Nissan has supplied SMI with its engines, one of them being Nissan's famed V6 engines the VQ23DE, currently replaced by the VQ35DE.

Since 1998 Renault Samsung Motors has been selling cars in Chile with the introduction of the SQ5 (the current SM5).[16] As of 2013, Chile is the only country that RSM has sold its cars under the Renault Samsung Motors marque and not as rebadged Renaults.[17]

Later developments: Renault era (2000–present)[edit]

Product and market expansion (2000–2010)[edit]

After the 2000s acquisition, Renault renamed Samsung Motors as Renault Samsung Motors (RSM).[18] That year, company's results began to improve. Some journalists attribute this to the success of the first car manufactured at Busan (the SM5) in taxi fleets, which led to increased confidence for the model within the rest of the customers.[19] During the next years, the company introduced a new vehicle range, including the SM3 in 2002, the SM7 in 2004 and the crossover QM5 in 2007. Over time, RSM changed its products from a Nissan based architecture to a Renault based one.[18] As part of the Renault group, Renault Samsung became basically an export-oriented manufacturer.

In 2005, Renault increased its stake by acquiring an additional 10% share from the company's creditors.[20][21] On 26 June 2009, Renault and Samsung agreed to renew the right of the former to use the "Samsung" trade mark on its products until 2020.[22][23]

Decline in sales, electric vehicles and recovery attempts (2010–present)[edit]

The pressure from Hyundai and Kia, dominant automakers in the Korean market, increased during the 2010s, pushing RSM sales down by 27% in 2011. In the first half of 2012, they fell 41%. In August 2012, a personnel reduction of about 80% of employees was presented by the management.[24] Finally, Renault reduced its Busan personnel by 15% (about 800 employees). With the aim of reviving the company, it invested (together with Nissan) US$160 million to make Nissan Rogues for export in order to improve the production output[25] and also presented revised versions of the SM3 and the SM5.[26][27] During 2013 the company started to market a new compact crossover, the QM3, based on the Captur.[28][29]

In 2012 RSM introduced an electric version of its SM3 car known as the SM3 Z.E., imported from Turkey. In October 2013 the car started to be assembled at the Busan plant[30] and in the same year it became the leader electric vehicle by sales in South Korea with a 58% market share.[31]

Facilities[edit]

Manufacturing[edit]

The car manufacturing plant is located at Busan in the Sinho Regional Industrial Site and begun production in 1998.[32] It covers 1,650,000 m2[33] and has capacity to manufacture 300,000 cars per year. It can produce various models simultaneously in a single production line.[34]

The plant is divided into seven production shops (stamping, body, painting, bumper, assembly, al-casting and engine).[33]

Research and development[edit]

The Renault Samsung Technical Centre (Hangul: 르노삼성 중앙연구소; RR: Reuno Samseong Jungang Yeonguso) is located at Giheung near Seoul, and is one of the largest research and development facilities of Renault after Guyancourt's Technocentre.[34] It was established in 1997 as the Samsung Motors Technical Centre,[35] being expanded in 2000 and adopting its current name.[35][36] At first it was only involved with car engineering, but at the end of 2002 was created the RSM Design Centre (Hangul: 르노삼성자 디자인센터; RR: Reuno Samseongja Dijain Senteo) within the facility to design locally the cars manufactured by the company.[35][37] In early 2013 the design branch was renamed Renault Design Asia (Hangul: 르노 디자인 아시아; RR: Reuno Dijain Asia) and it was put in charge of supervising the Renault's Asian design operations.[38]

Administration[edit]

The RSM's head offices are located at Gasan-dong, Seoul.[39] There also are administrative offices in Busan.[34]

Branding[edit]

The logo of Samsung, which serves as the basis for the corporate logo of Renault Samsung Motors.

Logos[edit]

Renault Samsung Motors has two logos, the corporate logo and the marque logo.[40][41] The first is for corporate communications and is an adaptation of the Samsung Group's logo.[40][41][42] The second is the "storm's eye" logo which is used as marque's badge and in advertising. Its shape symbolises the meeting between clients and automobiles, while its symmetry reflects stability and confidence.[43]

Slogan[edit]

The advertising slogan of Renault Samsung Motors is Discover the Difference (Hangul: 디스커버 더 디퍼런스; RR: Diseukeobeo Deo Dipeoreonseu)[44][45] and was introduced in 2009. According to the company, it makes reference to the distinct quality of its products.[45]

Vehicle nomenclature[edit]

The company includes in its vehicles' designations numbers related to their sizes. Currently those numbers are 3, meaning compact or small vehicle, 5, mid-size vehicle, and 7, large vehicle.[46][47] The designations also include the letters S and M, which stands for Samsung Motors[46] and Samsung Motor Sedan.[47][48] However, the sport utility vehicles replace the SM combination by QM (Quest Motoring).[47][49]

Solar energy project[edit]

In March 2013, Renault Samsung Motors completed the installation of solar panels in the parking lots, rooftops and surrounding land of its Busan facility to create a 20-MW solar plant, one of the largest in the world. The project was carried out through a joint venture, Busan Shinho Solar Power SPC (Hangul: 부산신호태양광 특수목적법인; RR: Busan Sinho Taeyang-gwang Teugsumogjeogbeob-in), formed by RSM, Korea East-West Power and KC Cottrell, which also manages the plant. It provides energy to the RSM operations and nearby houses.[50][51]

Shareholders[edit]

Renault Samsung Motors is majority owned by Renault with an 80.1% share. Samsung Card has a 19.9% share of the company.

Model lineup[edit]

Third generation SM5 (L43)

Gallery[edit]


Sales[edit]

Model 1998[52] 1999[53] 2000[54] 2001[55] 2002[55][56] 2003[55][57] 2004[58] 2005[58] 2006[59] 2007[60] 2008[60] 2009[61] 2010[61] 2011[62] 2012[62] 2013[63]
Renault Samsung SM3 16,016 29,878 19,411 30,091 71,817 29,448 21,362 48,340 64,779 42,910 22,793 25,990
Renault Samsung SM5 41,593 6,362 26,862 70,788 100,777 80,371 55,000 63,374 71,675 73,346 55,932 61,319 78,107 50,408 32,699 30,888
Renault Samsung SM7 6,295 25,089 17,807 14,233 15,358 18,319 13,550 17,199 5,263 3,680
Renault Samsung QM3 1,150
Renault Samsung QM5 2,518 11,832 8,487 5,481 7,618 4,936 5,466
Total 41,593 6,362 26,862 70,788 117,085 111,431 80,906 118,554 161,299 119,545 104,484 136,465 161,917 118,135 65,691 67,174
‡ Only South Korean market.
† Samsung SQ5/SM5.
≠ For these years the models' number of sales only include the South Korean domestic market. The total includes both the domestic and the international market.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Vehicles badged as Renault Samsung, Renault and Nissan.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]