Samsung will export its XM3 SUV model to Europe from next year to help lift production volume and utilisation at Busan. The vehicle will be badged Renault Arkana

Samsung will export its XM3 SUV model to Europe from next year to help lift production volume and utilisation at Busan. The vehicle will be badged Renault Arkana

Renault Samsung Motors announced on Monday it would suspend production at its only plant, located in the South Korean city of Busan, for the first two days of this week to help control inventory.

The South Korean Renault subsidiary also released its sales performance data for October - a 49% drop in global sales to 7,533 vehicles from 14,826 a year earlier.

Domestic sales fell by 15% to 7,141 units last month, from 8,401 in October 2019, while exports plunged by almost 94% to 392 from 6,425 units. 

The company had already suspended operations at Busan, located 450km south of Seoul, between 25 September and 18 October due to weak global sales.

In the first 10 months of 2020, Renault Samsung global sales were down by almost 32% to 99,077 units from 144,736 in the same period of last year, due to a sharp slump in global demand due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the end of [Rogue] export orders from Renault Alliance partner Nissan Motor and strong competition in its domestic market – particularly by Hyundai and Kia.

This has been offset by the recent announcement it would export its XM3 SUV model to Europe from next year to help lift production volume and utilisation at Busan. The vehicle would be badged as the Renault Arkana in Europe. The compact SUV has a 1.3 litre petrol direct injection turbocharged engine.