Renault Samsung Motors said it would cut management staff and salaries as part of an emergency cost cutting programme due to its weak financial performance last year.

A spokesman said it plans to cut the number of executive positions at the company by 40% to 30 while salaries will also be cut by 20%.

It is also mulling offering voluntary retirement to its employees.

The South Korean automaker, owned 81% by Renault, reported a 35% drop in global vehicle sales last year to 116,166 units, due mainly to plunging overseas sales following the discontinuation of Nissan Motor export orders for the Rogue SUV

The company was forced to suspend production at its Busan plant in the south for long periods in the fourth quarter to control inventory.

It hopes volume will be boosted this year once it begins exporting the XM3 SUV as a Renault branded model to Europe.