Renault Samsung Motors has a short but checkered history. Samsung, the Korean electronics giant, figured their considerable expertise in circuits might serve them well in the automotive realm, and after a four-year ramp-up, they were ready to build cars. (Hubris to the white courtesy phone, please.)
Unfortunately, it was 1998 when they were ready, and by then the Asian financial crisis, precipitated by the collapse of the Thai baht, was in full wallow. Samsung wanted out; Renault bought 70 percent of the enterprise in 2000 and now holds about 80 percent.
And with Renault calling the shots, Samsung has decided that they might as well call the damn cars Renaults and be done with it:
“We want to take our brand ‘Samsung’ out of Renault Samsung since we don’t have anything to do with the car sales,” a Samsung executive told The Korea Herald.
Nothing doing, replied a Renault spokesman: “Both Renault group and its Korean operation consider the relationship with Samsung successful and positive. We have no immediate plans to make any change.”
Under current agreements, Renault can use the Samsung name on automobiles until 2020.