(Renault Samsung Motors)
Renault Samsung Motors Corp. said Monday it has resumed the operation of its sole plant in South Korea following a monthlong suspension to control inventories amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Renault Samsung halted the operation of the Busan plant, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul, from Sept. 25 through Oct. 18.
The company said the upgrade and maintenance work has been done to the plant's production facility ahead of the manufacturing of the XM3 SUV.
Renault Samsung plans to start exporting the XM3 SUV to Europe next year. The XM3 comes with a gasoline hybrid engine or a 1.3-liter gasoline direct-injection turbo engine.
The company expects the planned exports of the XM3 SUV to help improve its lackluster sales amid the coronavirus outbreak.
From January to September, Renault Samsung's sales plunged 30 percent to 91,544 vehicles from 129,913 units in the year-ago period.
The company's current passenger car lineup includes the all-electric SM3 Z.E. sedan, the SM6 sedan, the XM3 SUV and the QM6 SUV.
Meanwhile, the company and its labor union have yet to sign a wage and collective agreement deal for 2020.
Renault holds an 81 percent stake in Renault Samsung. (Yonhap)