Cars | 29 April 2020

XM3 : Successful launch in Korea for Renault Samsung Motors

3 min
Based on the 2019 XM3 Inspire show car, the XM3 SUV coupé, the latest arrival from Renault Samsung Motors (RSM), has good sales figures since its launch. RSM is the first generalist manufacturer to introduce this type of concept on the Korean market. XM3 is the specific Korean version of the Renault Arkana, an SUV coupé already on sale in Russia that is already proving to be a model of international stature.
by Jean-Baptiste Pietra

The launch of XM3 is part of Groupe Renault's international strategy. In fact, XM3, produced at the Busan plant in the south of Seoul, has conquered the South Korean market since its launch.

Between February 21 - the commercial launch date - and April 24, 22,175 orders were placed and 10,000 were delivered in the space of 49 days, an all-time record for Renault Samsung Motors.

XM3's distinctive, upscale design, combining the charm of a sedan with the proportions of a SUV, appealed to customers.

Renault Samsung Motors XM3

“XM3 INTRODUCES A UNIQUE CONCEPT WITH A STRIKING DESIGN […] A PERFECT COMBINATION OF ELEGANCE AND ROBUSTNESS.”

Raphael Linari, director of the Renault Design Center Seoul

Unveiled at the Seoul Motor Show in March 2019, the XM3 INSPIRE show car revealed the basis of the XM3 series. “We adopted the elegant profile of a saloon and we raised it up” explained Raphael Linari, the director of the Renault Design Center Seoul. In particular, this resulted in a very high body waist and a sloping roof line.

XM3 also inherits several attributes that are characteristic of an SUV, such as high ground clearance, front and rear skis and wheel arch protectors. Its 18” wheel hubs, chrome radiator grille and twin aluminium exhaust give it a really sporty look.

Those familiar with Renault and Renault Samsung Motors will recognise the C-Shape light signature of the LED headlights from the brand’s SM6 (Talisman) and QM6 (Koleos) models.

Renault Samsung Motors XM3

A PRACTICAL, DYNAMIC SUV COUPÉ

XM3 is an SUV coupé that makes no compromises on comfort, spaciousness and payload volume. Real assets for Korean customers. “Not only is it beautiful, it has a quality colour/materials combination that gives it a unique character and the car is very practical and easy to use on a day-to-day basis” says Minyoung Kim, the Colour and Materials designer.

Renault Samsung Motors XM3

The high-tech interior is slightly orientated towards the driver with two large digital screens: a 10” digital instrument panel (identical to the one in the Renault Captur INITIALE PARIS) with a navigation display and a vertical 9.3’’ multimedia tablet. Quite simply the biggest screens in the segment!

Renault Samsung Motors XM3

The XM3 also boasts equipment worthy of the top segment, such as Park Assist with a 360° camera, automatic parking brake (available even on the standard finish level), adaptative cruise control with the Stop & Go function, Lane Keeping Assistant and MULTI-SENSE technology. The latter adapts to the driver’s mood, with its three driving modes and a variety of lighting atmospheres.

Renault Samsung Motors XM3
The interior of the XM3 combines the subtle balance of spaciousness, comfort and dynamism of an SUV coupé.

“Much work went into seat comfort, and the high position gives a reassuring feel”, says Jinseok Cho, the product manager for the project in Korea. “In the back, passenger knee room is 213 mm and this feature is particularly appreciated by the Asian buyer. As for payload, the XM3 offers the biggest boot in its category, with a volume of 513 litres.”

Under the bonnet, you will find the 1.3 TCe engine. Selected by close to 90% of early customers, this 1.3 litre turbocharged petrol engine was jointly developed by Renault and Daimler. It is coupled to an automatic, 7-speed, twin-clutch EDC gearbox. The XM3 also has an option for a 1.6 litre petrol engine with an X-TRONIC automatic gearbox (CVT).

In terms of safety, shortly, the body in charge of crash tests and passive vehicle safety in Korea (KNCAP) is expected to confirm that the XM3 has achieved Level 1 (the best possible result) in its category.

This highly affordable newcomer from RSM offers its customers lots of attractive features, as always with this manufacturer. “In addition to its exclusive design, the excellent quality/price ratio of the XM3 is often mentioned by our customers as being one of the main reasons for buying it” reports Jinseok Cho. “72% of early buyers took advantage of this to select the highest finish level (RE Signature)”.

The many advantages of the XM3 explain the success of its commercial release in Korea. The model is certain to be introduced in other markets in the near future.

A digital strategy to win over young buyers

Aside from the vehicle’s strong points, the success of the XM3 launch is also due to an effective digital strategy designed, especially, to win over a young public. “All of our communication tools have been developed to attract digital natives” says Sil Bang, the marketing director at RSM. In fact, almost half the customers are millennials and thirty-somethings who are sensitive to the trends and new uses, and for whom online buying is natural.

To introduce the XM3, for example, a mini-website dedicated to the vehicle went online, alongside an advertising campaign, a virtual showroom and lots of videos. As for the press, 172 journalists from 142 media organisations published almost 1,700 articles on the XM3. In addition, some thirty bloggers and influencers posted their impressions on social media.

And this is how the XM3 came to be the car with the most searches on Naver (the Korean Google) in March, and how 1,400 pre-orders for the vehicle (almost a quarter of the total) came to be placed online. A new record for a car manufacturer in Korea! 

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