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‘Renault Samsung strategically important for group in Asia-Pacific region’

With advanced manufacturing and export capacities, Renault Samsung Motors in South Korea stands out as strategically important for the global auto giant, with Renault Group’s head for the AMI and Asia-Pacific region, excluding China, coming to the country for a visit soon, according to the firm Thursday. AMI refers to Africa, the Middle East and India. 

In a video message, Fabrice Cambolive, chairman of Renault’s AMI-APAC headquarters, described Korea as one of the carmaker’s major manufacturing bases for exports. He said he has chosen to visit the country as his first destination, though the exact date of the business trip was not mentioned.

Fabrice Cambolive, chairman of Renault’s AMI-Pacific region (RSM)
Fabrice Cambolive, chairman of Renault’s AMI-Pacific region (RSM)

The regional head office of the French automaker will support units facing challenges in expanding exports, he added. Korea is the only base in the respective region where the automaker operates both R&D and manufacturing facilities. 

The chairman’s message came after the group expanded its APAC headquarters this month to also cover AMI, while establishing a separate regional office only for China.

The AMI-APAC region covers three continents, including more than 100 countries with a population of 4.3 billion. The regional bloc sells a total of 12 million units of cars annually, the chairman said, stressing that the figures show both challenges and growth potential for Renault’s operations.

Ahead of the chairman’s visit, RSM expressed confidence in recovering its business here, as it is only unit that holds both manufacturing and R&D capabilities in the region.

Located in Yongin, Renault Technology Korea is RSM’s R&D center leading the development of midsized sedans. Korea accounted for more that 50 percent share of the total global sales of its midsized sedan SM6, while 33 percent of its SUV QM6 were sold here as of 2018. 

The manufacturing capability of its factory in Busan has been proven, an RSM official said. “If we can overcome the current labor-management dispute, we can surely expect a rebound.”

By Cho Chung-un (