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Renault Samsung CEO vows to maintain good relations with labor union

Renault Samsung Motors CEO Dominique Signora speaks to reporters during a QM6 test-drive event in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi Province on Wednesday. (Jo He-rim/The Korea Herald)
Renault Samsung Motors CEO Dominique Signora speaks to reporters during a QM6 test-drive event in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi Province on Wednesday. (Jo He-rim/The Korea Herald)
GAPYEONG, Gyeonggi Province -- Renault Samsung Motors CEO Dominique Signora stressed the importance of maintaining good labor relations Wednesday, following the reelection of a hardline union chief days before. 

Speaking to reporters during a test-driving event for the revamped QM6, Signora also said his company would make utmost efforts to gain competitiveness in global sales, as exports are crucial for company sales. 

The automaker decided to export the XM3, its compact sports utility vehicle, to European markets in September, under the name the New Arkana. It also plans to produce XM3 Hybrid models and export them to Europe from next year.

“What I believe is that if we want to be strong in Korea, we have to cooperate with the union. So, maintaining a good relationship with workers through dialogue is one of the key points,” Signora said. 

“Especially in this time of COVID-19 and there are difficulties everywhere, I am hopeful that we will have a smooth relationship and we will work together.”

On Monday, the incumbent chief of Renault Samsung’s labor union, Park Jong-kyu, was reelected to become the union's first chief to serve a second term. 

Park is considered a hardliner, having led a strike in 2019 and sought to join the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions. 

Saying that the company’s exports were “very low” this year, Signora said the year had proven how the company can have a very troublesome time without exporting. 

“There is no reason for French customers to buy a car that is more expensive because it comes from Korea, so we really have to be competitive to serve the market abroad,” Signora said. 

“So we need to gather all our efforts to be competitive so we have large volumes of export." 

For next year, Renault Samsung Motors said it will target a domestic market share of 5-6 percent. 

“It is true that we have very powerful automakers in Korea, but Renault Samsung Motors is offering something different, so I believe we have room in the market,” Signora said. 

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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