Dominique Signora, CEO of Renault Samsung Motors Corp., said on April 16 that Renault Group will continue to invest in the South Korean market and contract out production of new models to Renault Samsung.
Signora made the remarks during his meeting with Oh Keo-don, mayor of Busan Metropolitan City.
Following Signora’s meeting with the mayor, Renault Samsung’s labor union proposed to advance the 26th round of wage negotiations from April 19 to April 18, raising expectations that the company’s prolonged labor strike may come to an end.
At the meeting, Signora said, “Renault Samsung plays a strategically important role for its parent company, Renault Group, in terms of research and development (R&D) and sales of D-segment vehicles.”
Currently, among Renault Group’s research centers around the world, those that can handle the entire process from design, component procurement and production are only in France, South Korea and Rumania. The research center in France specializes in compact vehicles in the A, B and C segments, while that in Rumania focuses on low-end vehicles. The one in South Korea has a high level of development capacities in mid-size sedans and sport utility vehicles. The Talisman, known as the SM6 in South Korea, was released in the global market in 2015 and will have a partial facelift in the near future. The succeeding model of the Talisman can be developed and produced in Korea for exports to the global market in the future.
However, Signora added that it is possible only when the company can continuously run its business. He stressed that the company should be able to export in order to continuously run its business. Last year, 130,000 out of 220,000 vehicles produced in South Korea were exported to global markets. In order to export cars, Renault Samsung’s plant in South Korea has to have better productivity and more competiveness in wage costs than other plants of the Renault-Nissan alliance. The Busan plant has a high productivity but its wage costs are 30 percent higher than the Valladolid plant in Spain, which ranks top in the world in terms of productivity, and 20 percent higher than the Kyushu plant in Japan.
Signora said, “Renault Samsung faces different situations in domestic and overseas markets. We cannot accept the labor union’s demand for co-determination on personnel and management issues.”