SEOUL, Sept. 23 (Korea Bizwire) — Renault Samsung Motors Corp., the South Korean unit of Renault S.A., said Wednesday it will start exporting the XM3 sport utility vehicle to Europe next year.
Renault Samsung manufactures the XM3 at its sole plant in Busan, 450 kilometers south of Seoul, and the compact SUV will be sold as the New ARKANA in the European market, the company said in a statement.
The XM3 with a gasoline hybrid engine or a 1.3-liter gasoline direct-injection turbo engine will be shipped to Europe, it said.
The company expects the planned exports of the XM3 SUV to help improve its lackluster sales amid the coronavirus outbreak.
From January to August, Renault Samsung’s sales fell 27 percent to 84,158 vehicles from 114,705 units in the year-ago period due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the automobile industry.
Renault Samsung badly needed to secure export volume for the XM3 in order to offset the now halted production of the Nissan Rogue SUV at the Busan plant.
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.
Renault holds an 81 percent stake in Renault Samsung.