Although it seems like an amalgamation of an automobile and a television, Renault Samsung has been operating in South Korea since 1994, where it was established as Samsung Motors. It wasn’t until 2000 that Renault bought 70% of the company and the name became amalgamated.
One of the company’s latest vehicles is the SM5, which was released to the Korean market in December, 2009.
The spies at Pavle.com.au have photographed Renault Samsung testing the SM5 in exclusive Australia spy photos. It is believed Renault Samsung is testing a 2.5-litre V6 from the Renault range to work with the SM5 via a CVT transmission. The engine is believed to be a variant of the VQ25DE, which is yet to be released in the SM5.
CarAdvice spoke with Renault Australia’s Managing Director, Rudi Koenig. Mr Koenig said
From time to time Renault tests a number of its’ future models here in Australia….they are not always models planned to be launched here.
When quizzed about whether the vehicle would be released locally, Mr Koenig said
At this stage no announcement has been made regarding SM5.
In the Korean market, the SM5 is priced alongside Hyundai and Kia, offering high-specification fitments and affordable pricing. If released for the Australian market, it would offer customers the chance to step into a Renault product, without the French price tag.
Renault Samsung announced that its sales had jumped a staggering 89.4% on this time last year, with exports increasing 100% and local product sales increasing by some 75.9%. Industry rumours have suggested right-hand-drive markets are an opportunity for the Korean based manufacturer to further improve sales.
CarAdvice will keep you posted with any further developments regarding both Renault Samsung and the potential local introduction of the brand.