Rebodied version of Korean built Samsung SM5 may go on sale as early next year
8 April 2009

Renault is steaming forward with plans to launch a large saloon in Europe, the company’s marketing boss Steve Norman has revealed to Autocar.

Despite fears that current economic conditions and the failure of previous large cars such as the Vel Satis, the company will be launching a rebodied version of the Korean built Samsung SM5 (pictured and in gallery) possibly as early next year.

'We need this car primarily for the Middle East and Russia,' Norman said. 'But it would be crazy not to put it on sale in Western Europe as well.'

The company's chief marketer also countered claims that it would join a litany of low-selling large French saloons: 'This car will be a success. The closest thing to it at the moment is the Audi A6, but it will be very Renault and it will have a price and a package which you’re not going to believe.'

Norman also admitted that Renault is currently plotting to replace the Espace with a crossover vehicle that’s likely to be partially electric, due to go on sale around 2015.

'The Odelios concept [shown at the Paris motorshow] it not exactly what we're thinking but it's in that direction,' he said.

Chas Hallett

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