|Type||Subsidiary of Renault S.A.|
|Key people||Jean-marie Hurtiger, Chairman|
|Products||QM5, SM3, SM5, SM7|
|Revenue (turnover)||$ 2.77 billion (2006)|
|Parent||80% Renault</br>20% Samsung Electronics</br>|
|Website||Renault Samsung Motors Homepage|
Renault Samsung Motors is a South Korean automobile manufacturer. It was first established as Samsung Motors in 1994 and started selling cars in 1998, just before South Korea was hit by the Asian financial crisis. Negotiations with Renault started in December 1998 and in September 2000 Renault bought a 70% stake for $512 million.
Samsung Motors (also known as SMI) was created after the 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. Unfortunately for Samsung shortly after Samsung Motors was established 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 was 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.
Coupled with his personal affection for cars, Mr. 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 either Volkswagen 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 1999 Renault Samsung Motors has been selling cars in Chile when the company introduced the SQ5(then SM5). As 2011 Chile is the only country that RSM sold its cars under Renault Samsung Motors and not as rebadged Renaults.
Today, Renault Samsung Motors (RSM) maintains a good position within the Korean automotive market, with its SM5 vehicle continuing to hold its ground against competitors. Also, RSM is in the phase of changing its products from a Nissan based architecture to a Renault based one. For example, the next generation of Megane will take over the Nissan Sylphy as the base for SM3. 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 by 2010, 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.
- QM5 (based on the Nissan X-Trail, the first crossover auto of RSM, sold in overseas markets with the brand Renault Koleos)
- SM7 (based on the Nissan Teana)
- New SM5 (based on the Renault Laguna III)
- SM5 (previously based on the 1995 Nissan Cefiro and Nissan Maxima, replaced in 2005 by a model based on the Nissan Teana)
- SM3 (based on the Renault Fluence)
- SM3 CE (based on the first generation Nissan Bluebird Sylphy)
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- Renault Samsung Motors Homepage
- RSM Club Homepage(Renault Samsung Motors Club)
- Club SM5 Homepage(SM5 Korea club)
- Club SM3 Homepage(SM3 Korea club)
- SM7 Club Homepage(SM7 Korea club)
- Renault Samsung Official Chilean website