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Renault Korea CEO pledges to accelerate future mobility transition

Nov. 8, 2023 - 14:44 By Byun Hye-jin
(From left) Industry Minister Bang Moon-kyu, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, Renault Korea Motors CEO Stephane Deblaise and Busan Mayor Park Hyung-jun pose for a photo during the Invest Korea Summit 2023 held in Busan on Tuesday. (Renault Korea Motors)

Renault Korea Motors CEO Stephane Deblaise has pledged to ramp up the transition to electric vehicles with cutting-edge hybrid car technologies, the company said Wednesday.

With additional investments, the company will add hybrid cars to its Busan plant production lineup, Deblaise was quoted as saying at the Invest Korea Summit 2023 that wrapped up Wednesday in Busan. No time frame was mentioned.

Under the vision of a “thriving automotive tech company,” the CEO added the carmaker has advanced its software research and development capabilities for cars. Its innovative digital services include in-car payment and fast-track booking, which offers real-time maintenance reservations at auto repair shops.

Stressing that Korea’s top-class industrial infrastructure and labor force are the key factors driving foreign investment, Deblaise touted that the Korean unit has produced and exported a total of 3.7 million cars as of October, based on the 5 trillion won ($3.8 billion) investment. Its No. 1 car model in terms of export volume has been the XM3 or Arkana, a small-sized sport utility vehicle, since its launch in March 2020.

“Renault Korea Motors has played a vital role as a global hub for Renault Group in developing and producing high-end mid- and large-sized car segments,” he said in his speech Tuesday.

Last year, Deblaise invited Renault Group Chairman Luca de Meo to Korea for the first time, raising the company’s profile in the French carmaker’s future road map, according to the Korean unit.

During the past two years as CEO, Deblaise has led conflict-free management-labor union negotiations and the communication between executives and staff, as well as the company’s development of new car models, it added.

In August, he announced that Renault Korea’s utmost priority is to launch hybrid cars under the codenames Aurora 1 and 2 until it boosts battery-powered EVs in 2026. The Aurora 1 is to debut by the second half of next year.

Invest Korea Summit 2023 was hosted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and organized by the state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. The annual event, in its 19th edition, ran from Monday to Wednesday.