French carmaker Renault SA is planning to launch the supermini Clio hatchback in South Korea in August to absorb "pent-up" demand here for small and fuel-efficient vehicles, a company official said Monday.
"South Korean customers appear to be fed up with similar designs and lack of features in the existing subcompact vehicles.
Renault's Clio hatchback (Yonhap)
As we have judged, there is demand for a small but powerful and premium hatchback, we will place the Europe-made Clio in the Korean market in August," an official at Renault Samsung Motors Corp. told Yonhap News Agency.
The Clio hatchback will be shipped to the Korean market after being manufactured in Renault's factories in Europe, he said asking not to be named.
The vehicle, equipped with a 1.5-liter gasoline engine, will compete with a Peugeot 208 five-door hatchback with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine and Volkswagen's Golf hatchback with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine, the official said.
He expected the Clio hatchback to carry a price tag of less than 30 million won ($26,400) in the domestic market to woo customers.
In an effort to beef up its lineup, Renault Samsung "will also consider producing the ultra-compact Twizy electric car" in its plant in Busan, 453 kilometers south of Seoul, depending on demand, he said.
Renault Samsung, an 80 percent-owned unit of Renault, plans to introduce the Twizy electric car in the domestic market in the second half of this year. Renault Samsung's lineup is composed of the SM3, SM5, SM6 and SM7 sedans, and the QM3, QM5 and QM6 SUVs. The carmaker imports the Spain-made QM3 SUV for local sales. (Yonhap)