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Samsung - SM7 series

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About Samsung

Renault Samsung Motors is a South Korean automobile manufacturer. It was first established as Samsung Motors in 1994 and started selling cars in 1998, just before South Korea was hit by the Asian financial crisis. Negotiations with Renault started in December 1998 and in September 2000 Renault bought a 70% stake for $512 million.

Samsung Motors (also known as SMI) was built out by the will of the Samsung group's chairman, Kun Hee Lee, who regarded automotive industry was a sum of many industries. For the group, that would have meant the co-operation between its subsidiaries such as Samsung Electrics and Samsung Electronics. Nevertheless, his plan was cut short by the Asian financial crisis, and soon the group jettisoned SMI (along with other non-core subsidiaries). SMI was up for grabs, firstly by Daewoo Motors, but it was itself hit by the same crisis and was bought by GM. Hyundai Motors was also considered to be a suitor, but politics and strife between Samsung group and Hyundai group made this impossible.

Coupled with his personal affection for cars, Mr. Lee's dream of building SMI as a global force started out with technical assistance from Nissan, which company at the time of SMI's early stages was in dire financial straits. SMI's affiliation with Nissan could have been one of the reasons for Renault buying a major share of the company, as Renault had become a major shareholder of Nissan by then. For reference, one of the very early planners for SMI have stated that technical affiliations for SMI were initially considered with either Volkswagen or Honda. However, the financial situation had Nissan disclose its technology and engineering expertise to SMI. Also, Nissan has supplied SMI with its engines, one of them being Nissan famed V6 engines, VQ25DE. (currently replaced with VQ35DE)

Today, Renault Samsung Motors (hence RSM) maintains a good position within the Korean automotive market, with its SM5 vehicle continuing to hold its ground against its competitors. Also, RSM is in the phase of changing its products from Nissan based architecture to Renault based one. For example, the next generation of Megane will take over the Nissan Sylphy as the base for SM3. Also, according to the development trend of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, gasoline engines will be continued to be provided by Nissan, whereas diesel engines will be provided by Renault. In addition, a cross over vehicle (code name: H45) is being co-developed with Nissan (who is also using the H45 as the basis for its next Xtrail, code name P32M). It will appear in mid-to-late 2007 for Korea and Europe, and more new vehicles are planned in the future. This will increase the current company production capacity of 125,000~130,000 units to around 250,000 by 2010, as much of the increased production will target BRICs countries such as China, Russia, and also parts of Europe.

As Renault does not have any R&D center and have a few factories in Asia, RSM will spearhead the Renault's expansion efforts into the rapidly developing Asian market. Also, it should be noted that Renault is continuing the use of 'Samsung' name until 2010 under a license agreement with the Samsung group. It remains to be seen how long Samsung will allow the use of its brand to RSM, and how it will play its remaining 19.9% of shares. However, as the value of Samsung's brand continues to increase, Renault's desire to associate its brand in regions where Renault's brand is weak is considerable: recent events of Renault's attempts at associating itself with GM could be seen in the same text, as Renault does not have any existence in North America since its exit in the 1980s.


  • 80.1% Renault
  • 19.9% Samsung

Model lineup

  • QM5 (based on the Nissan Qashqai, the first crossover auto of RSM, sold in oversea market with the brand Koleos, the price in Korea market is $23500)
  • SM7 (based on the Nissan Teana)
  • SM5 (previously based on the 1995 Nissan Cefiro and Nissan Maxima, replaced in 2005 by a model based on the Nissan Teana)
  • SM3 (based on the Nissan Bluebird Sylphy, replaced in 2005 by a face lifted model. Also sold by Nissan as Almera in Latin America.
  • SV110 (Yamouzine) (1-ton truck, based on the Nissan Atlas)
  • Big Thumb (11-ton~19-ton truck, based on the Nissan Diesel design from Nissan Big Thumb)


V6 24v 2.3L DOHC A-5
125.3 kW / 168.0 hp / 168.0 hp  226.0 N·m / 166.7 lb·ft / 166.7 lb·ft

Samsung SM7 LE (2001)

4-door 5-seater sedan (saloon), petrol (gasoline) 6-cylinder 24-valve V engine, DOHC (double overhead camshafts, twin cam), 2349 cm3 / 143.3 cu in / 143.3 cu in, 125.3 kW / 168.0 hp / 168.0 hp @ 6000 rpm / 6000 rpm / 6000 rpm, 226.0 N·m / 166.7 lb·ft / 166.7 lb·ft @ 4400 rpm / 4400 rpm / 4400 rpm, automatic 5-speed transmission, front wheel drive

V6 24v 3.5L DOHC A-5
159.6 kW / 214.0 hp / 214.0 hp  314.0 N·m / 231.6 lb·ft / 231.6 lb·ft

Samsung SM7 RE35 (2001)

4-door 5-seater sedan (saloon), petrol (gasoline) 6-cylinder 24-valve V engine, DOHC (double overhead camshafts, twin cam), 3498 cm3 / 213.5 cu in / 213.5 cu in, 159.6 kW / 214.0 hp / 214.0 hp @ 5600 rpm / 5600 rpm / 5600 rpm, 314.0 N·m / 231.6 lb·ft / 231.6 lb·ft @ 3500 rpm / 3500 rpm / 3500 rpm, automatic 5-speed transmission, front wheel drive


The Varying Drivers License Requirements Around the World

Minimum driving ages, the number of passengers young drivers can have with them at any time, the times of day that drivers under the age of 18 can drive…

These all vary depending on where young motorists are driving. They vary, even, across the United States.

For instance, in Maine, motorists under the age of 18 aren’t allowed to have any passengers with them as they drive for the first 180 days after they obtain their licenses. In Alabama, motorists under the age of 18 can have one passenger with them.

And that’s just one example of the differences in driving license requirements from one part of the country to the next. The differences are even more pronounced when comparing one country to another. Minimum driving ages vary widely across the world. While most states in the United States allow youngsters to earn their learner’s permits at the age of 15, many other countries require their residents to be much older before they get behind the wheel of a car.