Renault Samsung Motors' new crossover utility vehicle, the QM3, alongside the QM5 Neo and SM3 Neo, has been pushing up the automaker's sales. / Courtesy of Renault Samsung Motors
By Park Jin-hai
Faced with foreign carmakers launching new lineups and conducting aggressive sales promotions to increase market share, Renault Samsung Motors is upbeat about its future.
In April, the company set a new record by selling 12,542 cars, up 15.4 percent year-on-year. Domestic sales were up 35.7 percent at 6,153 in the same period.
Boosted by its improved sales, it now says that it has gone a step closer to reaching its goal of becoming the No. 3 market player following Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors.
"It is the design change. The trio of the QM5 Neo, QM3 and SM3 Neo facelift models with more modern and dynamic designs have been pushing up sales from last year," said Renault Samsung Chief Executive Francois Provost in a statement.
The automaker has been building a family look or design integration for major models in a bid to increase its brand recognition. Benefiting from the rising popularity of the QM3, which has been imported from Europe, Renault Samsung applied the same sharper and modern looking front design to the QM5 and SM3.
The crossover utility vehicle QM3 has a sleek two-tone colored body. All 1,000 cars offered were presold in seven minutes, when it started booking for the facelift model in December. Its monthly sales counted more than 3,000 afterwards.
"The previous models were better known for greater acceleration and driving performance. By adopting a new family-look to these models, our customer's level of satisfaction in design has substantially increased, which has led to an improved bottom line," said a public relations officer.
After the front design change, the 2.0 dCi diesel powered SUV QM5 Neo's sales posted a 234 percent growth the month after its launch. The new compact sedan SM3 Neo, launched in late April, presold over 1,700 as of May 15.
"Based on our strength in durability and high fuel efficiency, we incorporated changing customers' needs for trendy design into our models. We will beef up our sales promotion onwards to take back third place by 2016," said Ju Su-yeon, the company's marketing director.