SEOUL, March 3 (Korea Bizwire) — Renault Samsung Motors Corp., the South Korean unit of Renault S.A., said Tuesday it will launch its all-new XM3 sport utility vehicle next week to revive lackluster sales.
The XM3 SUV, which hits the domestic market on Monday, comes in two versions, one with a 1.3-liter gasoline turbo engine and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and the other with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine and a continuously variable transmission, the company said in a statement.
The TCe 260 engine for the 1.3-liter model and the GTe engine for the 1.6 model have been jointly developed by Renault and Daimler Automotive Group, it said.
The models sell at the starting price of 17 million won (US$14,300), with the prices going up to 25 million won depending on options.
The XM3 SUV is expected to be shipped to Europe as early as late this year, a company spokesman said.
From January to February, its sales plunged 48 percent to 13,290 units from 25,414 in the year-ago period due to the impact of the spreading coronavirus outbreak on its production.
The company stopped the operation of its sole plant in Busan, 453 kilometers south of Seoul, for four working days in February, as its Chinese parts suppliers halted operations due to an extended Lunar New Year holiday aimed at stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus there.
The company’s current lineup includes the all-electric SM3 Z.E. sedan, SM6 midsize sedan, QM6 SUV, Renault Master bus and Renault Twizy two-seat electric car.
Renault has an 80 percent stake in Renault Samsung.