Renault warns labor unrest at Korean plant could upset new crossover’s success in Europe

2021.06.11 11:05:57 | 2021.06.11 11:50:39

[Source: Renault Samsung Motors]이미지 확대

[Source: Renault Samsung Motors]

French parent warned unions of Korea-based Renault Samsung Motors responsible for New Arkana crossover known as XM3 in Korea labor unrest could upset the full-fledged European inroads by new SUV model whose success would define the Busan manufacturer’s turnaround and viability.

Dominique Signora, CEO of Renault Samsung Motors, told reporters on Thursday during the XM3 media conference in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province that the company is going all-out efforts to raise the export competitiveness of Europe-bound XM3.

Renault’s Busan factory is in charge of producing the XM3 that are shipped out to Europe under the name of New Arkana.

The car sold more than 10,000 units in four European countries since March even before the official launch in the entire Europe. It hits the showrooms in 28 European countries this month.

Renault Samsung relies on the success of the hard-won new model after it lost mainstay product Nissan Rogue last year, he said.

To overcome the plant’s waning competitiveness from reduced output, higher fixed cost and waning market share, Renault Samsung has to supply the Europe-bound model on time to expand output and operating rate to enhance income and job security, he added.

The French parent has given the Busan plant priority in the access of automobile chips amid global shortages to help its turnaround through the successful launch XM3, said Signora.

Pointing to unresolved conflict over collective and wage bargaining, he warned that union strike damages the image of the producer and the brand reputation in Europe, he said.

Renault Samsung Motors on the same day unveiled the newest version of the XM3 with the same design as the Europe-bound model with upgraded safety and convenient specs like highway & traffic jam assist (HTA) and remote engine start/thermal and energy management solutions.

The 2022 version XM3 will be available at 17.87-26.41 million won ($16,070-23,750).

By Seo Dong-cheol and Lee Ha-yeon

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