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Renault Samsung says new SUV to help boost global sales next year

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Renault Samsung Motors Corp. said Monday its first sport utility vehicle, the QM5, will help drive up its global sales to 200,000 vehicles next year.

``We expect total sales will be strongly supported by exports of the QM5, our first-ever SUV model across the Renault Group,'' Park Soo-hong, senior executive managing director of Renault Samsung's sales and marketing division, told Dow Jones Newswires.

Renault Samsung is the South Korean unit of Renault SA of France. For all of 2007, Renault Samsung plans to sell 172,300 vehicles globally, up from 160,408 vehicles a year earlier.

Renault Samsung spent 560 billion won ($609 million) over the past 28 months to develop the QM5.

The company expects to sell 100,000 of the new SUVs in 2008 _ 35 per cent at home and 65 per cent overseas.

The new model will be available for sale in South Korea from Dec. 10, and in the second half of next year around the world, becoming Renault Samsung's second mainstay export after the subcompact SM3, which is shipped mainly to Russia.

The SM3 is sold under the brand name of Nissan Motor Co., which is 44.3 per cent owned by Renault. The QM5, with its 2,000cc diesel engine, will be exported mainly to Europe under the Renault brand, the company said.

Renault Samsung was South Korea's fourth-largest automaker last year, according to the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association. Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp. and GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. were the top three, and Ssangyong Motor Co. ranked fifth.

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Renault Samsung says new SUV to help boost global sales next year
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