Renault Samsung Motors’ export volume dropped more than 60 percent year on year in March, led by the strike at its Busan Plant. The plant produces the Nissan Rogue for the North American market until September this year. The survival of the automaker itself may be threatened if the strike continues without additional contract manufacturing.
The company announced on April 1 that it sold 6,540 cars in South Korea and 7,256 cars abroad last month. The volumes fell 16.2 percent and 62.3 percent from a year earlier, respectively. The total sales volume showed a year-on-year decline of 49 percent.
During the period, the company exported 5,779 Rogues, down 58 percent from a year ago. The drastic decline has to do with the manufacturing loss caused by the strike and a decrease in demand in the North American market. Likewise, its QM6 export volume fell 72.9 percent to 1,477.
The Busan Plant, which produced over 100,000 cars for domestic supply and export to North America each last year, is likely to post a production volume of less than 200,000 this year. Things may get even worse if the wage negotiations that started late last month fail. Besides, the headquarters of Renault Group is planning to produce new cars for the European market in Spain instead of Busan.
In the meantime, Hyundai Motor Co. sold 70,111 cars at home and 319,049 cars abroad last month, showing a year-on-year decrease of 2.2 percent. Sales rose 3.7 percent at home and fell 3.4 percent abroad from a year ago. Kia Motors sold 44,233 units (down 8.9 percent) at home and 198,384 units (up 2.2 percent) abroad.
SsangYong Motor Co. posted a year-on-year growth of 19.5 percent by selling 10,984 at home and 2,606 abroad. In the domestic market, the company hit a 39-month high on the back of the launch of its new models Rexton Sports Khan and Korando. GM Korea sold 6,420, up 2.4 percent, in South Korea, showing the first year-on-year increase in sales volume in five months.