Renault Samsung Motors Co., French automaker Renault Group’s Korean operation, is considering rebranding itself by removing Samsung from its nameplate, according to its new CEO Park Dong-hoon.
In a recent interview with the Maeil Business Newspaper, CEO Park said, “We can’t delay any longer and the time has arrived for us to think about whether to drop Samsung label.” He added the company will conduct surveys to look into potential impacts of rebranding sometime during this year. This is the first time that Renault Samsung’s CEO officially brought up the matter since its inception in 2000.
When Renault Group acquired Samsung Motors in 2000 from Samsung Group, it signed an agreement to use Samsung label for 10 years, which was renewed in 2010 for another decade until 2020. Renault Samsung’s largest shareholder is Renault Group with a 79.89 percent stake, followed by Samsung Card Co. with a 19.9 percent stake and employee stock ownership association with a 0.21 percent stake.
Samsung’s recent foray into the automotive electronics industry is believed to have prompted both Samsung and Renault to go their own ways, four years ahead of the contract expiration, industry observers said.
An unnamed senior official at Samsung said that as the Korean conglomerate seeks to grow the auto electronics business as its new growth engine, its name on a specific carmaker could hinder its marketing efforts for its car parts. He added that it is highly likely that Samsung will have its name removed from Renault Samsung as well as withdraw its stakes in the carmaker before 2020.
By Chun Beom-joo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]