Renault Samsung Motors
|Native name||르노삼성자동차 주식회사|
|Headquarters||Busan, South Korea|
|Key people||François Provost (Chairman)|
|Products||Automobiles, Luxury Cars|
|Production output||153,891 (2012)[note 1]|
|Revenue||₩3.6552 trillion (2012)|
|Net income||₩-207.5 billion (2012)|
|Owner(s)||Renault (80.1% )
Samsung (19.9% )
|Renault Samsung Motors|
|Revised Romanization||Reuno Samseong Jadongcha|
|McCune–Reischauer||Rŭno Samsŏng Chadongch'a|
Renault Samsung Motors (Korean: 르노삼성자동차, IPA: [ɾɯnoː samsʌŋ tɕadoŋtɕʰa]) is a South Korean automobile 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.
In the early 1990s Samsung's Chairman Kun Hee Lee recognized the automobile industry as the culmination of several other industries. 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.
Lee decided to create a new carmaker, Samsung Motors (also known as SMI) 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. SMI was established in 1994 and Daegu-based Samsung Commercial Vehicles in 1996. Unfortunately for Samsung shortly after SMI started its operations the Asian financial crisis hit. Samsung divested itself of SMI as well as other non-core subsidiaries. SMI was put up for sale, with Daewoo Motors being one of the first interested companies but as the crisis deepened was itself bought by GM. 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. In 2005, Renault increased its stake by acquiring an additional 10% share from the company's creditors.
Coupled with his personal affection for cars, Lee's dream of building SMI as a global force started out with technical assistance from Nissan, 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. 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 when the company introduced the SQ5 (the current SM5). As of 2013[update], Chile is the only country that RSM sold some of its cars under the Renault Samsung Motors' marque and not as rebadged Renaults.
When Renault purchased the company in 2000, its 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.
RSM is in the phase of changing its products from a Nissan based architecture to a Renault based one. For example, the latest SM3 shares its architecture with the Renault Fluence, its predecessor was based on the Nissan Sylphy. Also, according to the development trend of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, gasoline engines will be continued to be provided by Nissan, whereas diesel engines will be provided by Renault. In addition, QM5 (a cross over vehicle; code name: H45) was co-developed with Nissan (who is also using the QM5 as the basis for its next Xtrail, code name P32M). It is being sold in Korea, Europe, China, Mexico and South America, and more new vehicles are planned in the future. This will increase the current company production capacity of 125,000~130,000 units to around 250,000, as much of the increased production will target BRICs countries such as China, Russia, and also parts of Europe.
As Renault does not have any R&D centers and has only a few factories in Asia, RSM will spearhead the Renault's expansion efforts into the rapidly developing Asian market. Also, Renault is continuing the use of 'Samsung' name until 2020 under a license agreement with the Samsung group.
Decline in sales
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. Finally, Renault reduced its Busan personnel by 15% (about 800 employees). With the aim of reviving the company, it will invest (together with Nissan) US$160 million to make Nissan cars for export in order to improve the production output and also presented revised versions of the SM3 and the SM5. During 2013 it introduced a new compact crossover, the QM3, based on the Captur.
The car manufacturing plant is located at Busan in the Sinho Regional Industrial Site and begun production in 1998. It covers 1,650,000 m2 and has capacity to manufacture 300,000 cars per year. It can produce various models simultaneously in a single production line.
Research and development
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. It was established in 1997 as the Samsung Motors Technical Centre, being expanded in 2000 and adopting its current name. 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. 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.
Renault Samsung Motors has two logos, the corporate logo and the marque logo. The first is for corporate communications and is an adaptation of the Samsung Group's logo. 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.
The advertising slogan of Renault Samsung Motors is Discover the Difference (Hangul: 디스커버 더 디퍼런스; RR: Diseukeobeo Deo Dipeoreonseu) and was introduced in 2009. According to the company, it makes reference to the distinct quality of its products.
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. The designations also include the letters S and M, which stands for Samsung Motors and Samsung Motor Sedan. However, the sport utility vehicles replace the SM combination by QM (Quest Motoring).
Solar energy project
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.
- SM3 (compact four-door car based on the Renault Fluence)
- SM5 (mid-size four-door car also marketed as the Renault Latitude and Renault Safrane, based on the Renault Laguna III)
- SM7 (large four-door car sold as Renault Talisman in China)
- QM3 (a mini-crossover based on the Renault Captur. It is the first car of RSM that is not assembled in South Korea)
- QM5 (the first crossover from Renault Samsung based on the Nissan X-Trail, also marketed as the Renault Koleos)
|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|
|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|
|Renault Samsung SM7||−||−||−||−||−||−||6,295||25,089||17,807||14,233||15,358||18,319||13,550||17,199||5,263|
|Renault Samsung QM5||−||−||−||−||−||−||−||−||−||2,518||11,832||8,487||5,481||7,618||4,936|
- ‡ 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.
- Vehicles badged as Renault Samsung, Renault and Nissan.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Renault Samsung.|
- Renault Samsung Motors Homepage (Korean)
|Renault Samsung Motors, a subsidiary of Renault Group since 2000, car timeline, 1998–present|
|Compact car||SM3 I||SM3 II|
|Mid-size car||SM5 I||SM5 II||SM5 III|
|Executive car||SM7 I||SM7 II|