Christopher De Charentenay,
head of Renault Samsung’s purchasing division
By Kim Hyun-cheol
The alliance between Renault and Nissan, one of the world's largest carmakers, will raise its number of Korean part suppliers to 100 by 2013, nearly four-fold its current number.
Renault Samsung Motors, the Korean unit of French carmaker Renault, unveiled the plan at an annual conference for parts-supply affiliates at its research center in Giheung, Gyeonggi Province, Friday.
Currently, a total of 28 makers are exporting 32 auto parts to the multi-national pair, with overall sales reaching 12 billion won ($10.4 million) so far this year.
Representatives from 108 major subcontractors took part in the conference, along with officials of the Renault Nissan Purchasing Organization (RNPO), the purchasing department of the alliance.
The conference aims at giving its local affiliates an opportunity to introduce their companies, as well as the possibility of supplying parts to Nissan, Renault Samsung said. During the event, it introduced the RNPO and its detailed global purchasing plans to the participants.
``The associates of Renault Samsung have been a pivotal motive power for the company through continuous efforts for innovation. I hope this conference will be a strong foothold for Korean suppliers to advance into the global market,'' said Christopher De Charentenay, Renault Samsung's purchasing division head.
This year's meeting has a greater significance, as Nissan has recently announced that it will expand its purchase of car parts from Korean companies in stages.
Amid the ongoing economic slump, Korea is emerging as a new supplier for global auto giants thanks to its technical and cost edges. In October, buyers from Germany's Volkswagen visited the country, where they met with 25 local makers in October to choose suppliers of key components.
``Most Korean car parts makers have technically reached a globally competitive level. They can produce fast, and at a lower cost thanks to the currently weak won,'' De Charentenay said in a written interview with The Korea Times.
``But when it comes to marketing efforts, they still have a lot to do before exporting their products as original equipment manufacturers.''
More Korean manufacturers will be given the chance to beef up sales by standing out as a key supplier, Renault Samsung said, and the carmaker will continue to hold such events to promote competitive makers.
Aside from the outbound activities, the carmaker said it will also focus on localization of parts in its products.
``Like many other companies here, Renault Samsung is suffering from soaring prices of imported parts due to the won's depreciation. That's why we are currently working on the action plan for localization,'' De Charentenay said.