By on June 22, 2012

Korea’s Samsung, better known for flat panel TVs, Galaxy smart phones and other gadgetry, wants its name removed from cars produced by Renault in Korea. “We want to take our brand ‘Samsung’ out of Renault Samsung since we don’t have anything to do with the car sales,” a Samsung executive told The Korea Herald.

Nothing doing, replied a Renault spokesman:

“Both Renault group and its Korean operation consider the relationship with Samsung successful and positive. We have no immediate plans to make any change.”

Then Samsung Motors was established in 1994 when Samsung Chairman Kun Hee Lee wanted to branch out into carmaking. Lee soon learned an expensive lesson.

When first cars rolled off the line in 1998, Korea was hit by the Asian financial crisis. Samsung Motors was put up for sale and Renault bought a 70 percent stake for $560 million in September 2000. It was decided to keep the Samsung brand, which had more standing in the Korean market than Renault. There is a license agreement that allows the carmaker to use the Samsung brand through 2020.

Renault Samsung is not doing so well. Last year, its sales dropped 9 percent. In the first quarter of this year, Renault Samsung was the worst performer among the Korean carmakers.

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6 Comments on “Samsung Wants Its Name Off Samsung Cars...”

  • avatar

    Samsung used to produce Nissan Maximas under license. Is that what they produce now ?

    • 0 avatar

      Renault Samsung’s lineup, while having different sheetmetal, are based on either Renault or Nissan platforms (altho they are transitioning to more Renault platforms).

  • avatar

    Renault Samsung is not doing so well. Last year, its sales dropped 9 percent. In the first quarter of this year, Renault Samsung was the worst performer among the Korean carmakers.

    It might make sense for a rebranding but I don’t know if the Korean market prefers Korean to foreign nameplates.

    • 0 avatar

      The Chevrolet rebadging kit was a popular purchase by Daewoo owners (before Daawoo became Chevrolet in Korea) due to Chevy being seen as the better brand.

      I suspect Renault Samsung, in particular (as well as Ssangyong), has been hurt most my the rising tide of imports.

      • 0 avatar

        In general, foreign makes in Korea have a bit more cachet than domestic brands. The problem with Renault-Samsung is that no one perceives them as European and I don’t know if removing Samsung from marketing will.

  • avatar

    I think they’re producing a version of the Nissan Teana nowadays.

    I think Samsung is beginning to be recognized as a good brand for the products that they create themselves (TVs and such), and don’t want the possibility of their name being dragged down by cars that they don’t have any hand in designing/engineering. Though as I understand it the Nissan Teana itself is a pretty good car.

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