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Renault Samsung, Nissan Join Forces in Pusan SUV Plant

Seoul march 23, 2004; Shin Dong-heun writing for the Chosun Ilbo reported that Renault Samsung Motors Co. is planning to develop a large-sized sedan and sports utility vehicle (SUV) using the same platform as Nissan, in a move to strengthen a Renault-Nissan alliance.

Jerome Stoll, President and CEO of Renault Samsung, said Monday that the company would produce a large-sized sedan early next year and establish the SUV, which is currently under development, as Renault¡¯s flagship model.

The entire line of SUVs is to be produced at the Busan plant as Renault Samsung¡¯s only SUV. The model will be built using a common platform with Nissan, including the basic structural parts such as the engine and transmission, and will later be exported to Europe, Central America and South America.

Stoll said that rumors about the suspension of the company¡¯s technological collaboration with Japan¡¯s Nissan Motor Co. are unfounded. He maintained that, on the contrary, Renault is considering ways to help Nissan enter the Korean import car market.

He went on to predict that automobile sales this year will be as precarious as last year due to the stagnant economy. Renault is increasing its investment in services by 150 percent to overcome low sales by strengthening consumer service, he said. In addition, the company will soon release a 1500cc SM3 with a common rail diesel engine and produce a 1600cc SM3 model later this year.

Renault Samsung Motors sold 110,249 cars last year, recording W1.685 trillion in sales and W98.6 billion in trading profits.