Here in Seoul Headquarters, at our Technical Centre in Giheung and at our factory in Busan we are celebrating 10 years of Renault’s relaunch of Samsung Motors under Renault Samsung Motors, and if one day there is such a thing as an Alliance company, then RSM epitomizes it!
We’re making Nissans and Renaults on the same production line, using Nissan and Renault engines and our engineers work with both Renault and Nissan systems. The IT on the shop floor is Nissan while the manufacturing and engineering processes are a combination of Nissan and Renault. The process of merging smoothly and efficiently the two systems did not happen overnight and there are little differences between the two which we keep seeing on the shop floor. So yes, we operate with a true Alliance spirit!
There are lots of other great things about RSM. We are Renault’s Asia hub; Korea is a good place to build cars –the industry here is mature and efficient so costs are competitive and it makes sense for the Alliance to build here.
Although the market is dominated by Hyundai-Kia with a share of more than 70 per cent, we are currently at an all-time high market share of 12.9 per cent and this year we are on track to produce a record number of vehicles. In 2008 we built 197,000 cars slipping to 190,000 last year but in the first eight months of 2010 we are already at more than 175,000.
Renault owns 80.1 per cent of RSM and Samsung owns 19.9 per cent and we have just extended our agreement with Samsung so we can carry on using their name until 2020.
This is really important because, although awareness of Renault is growing, Samsung has a very strong brand image and is a big plus for us.
Our strong brand is backed by great customer service. RSM has topped customer satisfaction polls for the last nine years while independent surveys of quality also place us top of the South Korean car makers, ahead of Hyundai.
And that’s something we are very proud of.