The start of exports, with a shipment of 4,000 units, was marked with a special ceremony

The start of exports, with a shipment of 4,000 units, was marked with a special ceremony

The first shipment of 4,000 Renault Samsung-built Nissan Rogue vehicles for North America have been shipped from Busan NewPort ahead of sales starting in the US and Canada in October.

Rogue production started in August at Busan, as planned by the agreement signed between the Renault Group, Nissan and Renault Samsung Motors (RSM) in July 2012.

The Korean automaker expects to build 80,000 units annually over the next five years with export shipments to North America supplementing units made at the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee.

The Rogue is sold in other markets as the X-Trail and will eventually be made in nine plants worldwide with an annual tally around 500,000.

"Manufacturing the Rogue will allow RSM to secure a stable production volume of nearly 30% of its annual plant capacity target and accelerate achievement of its strategic plan, 'RSM Drive the Change'," Renault said in a statement.

Renault's chairman of Asia-Pacific Region, Gilles Normand, said at a ceremony to mark the start of exports: "Rogue exports to North America will serve as the foundation for Renault Samsung Motors to launch new models strengthening its future competitiveness." He added that "in the future, Renault Samsung Motors will continue to play a leading role as the Asian hub of Renault Group."

Nissan North America vice president Pierre Loing said: "Through this strategic decision by the group, we were able to satisfy the shortage of Rogue volume in North America, particularly the west coast, efficiently without missing superior quality. It is an excellent case demonstrating strong 'win-win' synergy of the Renault-Nissan Alliance."