Renault's Korea unit, Renault Samsung Motors, has reported that a record 70,914 cars were exported in the first half of this year. Its previous record was 50,160 exported in the first half of 2010.

Heading the charge was the SM5 midsize car but the company says that there was also steady demand for the SM3 compact and its QM5 crossover utility vehicle, sold as the Renault Koleos in some markets.

The carmaker began exporting the SM5 to Europe - where it is also known as the Renault Latitude - in January, with the first exports of the SM3 and QM5 taking place in 2006 and 2008, respectively.

“The figure represents the highest first-half record since Renault Samsung was launched in 2000,” the company said. “Exports accounted for 57% of the 123,516 cars made by the company from January through June.”

In June, the company’s exports increased 43.6% over the same month last year to 14,778 units, with overall sales reaching 24,212 vehicles for the month.