Korean carmakers are increasingly pouring resources into marketing their pricier luxury models with the aim of restoring profits as well as building a premium-brand image.
Their sales are also soaring. According to industry data, sales in the large sedan segment surged 33.1 percent to 3,219 vehicles in August from the same period last year.
|The Renault Samsung SM7 Nova|
With a slew of new models hitting the market, Renault Samsung has come up with the new SM7, a total makeover that was three years in the making.
The first-generation SM7 made its debut back in 2004. It was the outcome of two years of hard work and an investment of 300 billion won ($287 million) under a strategic alliance between Renault and Nissan.
While the smaller SM3 and SM5 are volume models, the flagship SM7 has played a key role in elevating the brand image of Renault Samsung.
The latest SM7 Nova, which was launched on Sept. 3, is stronger and more stylish than ever.
In terms of styling, the car has become larger, with the new radiator grille and fender design completing the car’s elegant look.
The LED daytime driving lights and the 18-inch alloy wheels offer a luxurious feel as well as better driving safety.
All versions of the new SM7 come equipped with Nissan’s V6 engine.
The potent engine, named one of the 10 best engines by Ward’s AutoWorld Magazine for 14 consecutive years, promises smoother and more comfortable driving.
The VQ25 V6 churns out 190 horsepower, a maximum torque of 24.8 kilogram meters and a fuel efficiency of 10.2 kilometers per liter, while the VQ35 V6 boasts 258 horsepower, 33.7 kilogram meters and a fuel efficiency of 9.4 kilometers per liter.
Among the car’s diverse high-end convenience features is a smartphone mirroring system that allows drivers to use smartphone applications through the car’s navigation system.
The Wi-Fi-based system, the first of its kind in Korea-made cars, is faster and more convenient to use than the more conventional Bluetooth-based system, according to the carmaker.
Local customers are also reacting positively toward the car’s enhanced styling and performance.
The new SM7 has secured some 700 preorders in the two weeks after its official launch. For the previous model, some 200 preorders were made during the same period, officials said.
“We think the SM7 has been underrated thus far. People who have driven the car recognize how potent it is,” said a Renault Samsung official.
“We have no doubt that the car will become a game changer in the large sedan market. It also will help us achieve this year’s sales goal of 80,000 vehicles.”
The new SM7 Nova ranges in price from 29.92 million won for the basic VQ25 trim to 38.19 million won for the high-end V35 model.
By Lee Ji-yoon (email@example.com)