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(LEAD) Renault to produce Twizy cars at S. Korean plant from 2019: sources

All Headlines 15:40 December 10, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS details, background throughout)

SEOUL, Dec. 10 (Yonhap) -- Renault Samsung Motors Corp., the South Korean unit of French carmaker Renault S.A., is planning to start producing the Twizy ultra-small electric car in its sole domestic plant next year, industry sources said Monday.

Renault Samsung, Busan Metropolitan City, and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy are expected to sign an initial agreement this month to begin manufacturing Twizys, which are classified as heavy quadricycles in some countries, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Yonhap News Agency over the phone.

He said assembly will begin "sometime during the year 2019" at the carmaker's plant in Busan, some 453 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

This year, Renault Samsung has sold most of the 1,000 Twizys, which were produced in its parent Renault's plant in Valladolid, Spain, and shipped to Korea, a company spokesman said.

The company plans to roll out up to 15,000 Twizys annually for domestic sales and exports to Asian markets, another person familiar with the matter said.

Renault Samsung, which is 80 percent owned by Renault, didn't confirm the plan.

From January to November, its overall sales fell 19 percent year-over-year to 209,126 autos from 250,293 a year earlier.

Its current lineup includes the SM3 compact, the all-electric SM3 Z.E. sedan, the QM3 small SUV and the SM5, SM6 and SM7 sedans.

Renault's Twizy ultracompact electric car (Yonhap)

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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