South Korea's Renault Samsung Motors announced this week it plans to export its XM3 SUV model to Europe from next year to help lift production volumes and utilisation at its plant in Busan.

The automaker, which is 81% owned by Renault, said the vehicle would be badged as the Arkana in Europe. The compact SUV is fitted with a 1.3-litre petrol direct injection turbocharged engine.

The decision to export the XM3 followed the end of exports of the Nissan Rogue SUV, which is now (redesigned model) produced directly by Nissan at its Smyrna plant in Tennessee.

Renault-Samsung reported a 27% decline in global sales to 84,158 units in the first eight months of 2020 from 114,705 units in the same period of last year, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and also the discontinuation of Rogue orders from Nissan. This followed an 18% sales decline to 227,577 units in the whole of 2019.