Domestic cars that actually showed: “If you ignore consumer feedback, you’ll eventually come to this end”


In July, Renault Samsung Motors unveiled the SM6 after a facelift four years after its 2016 premiere. There was a heated reaction early in the launch, but as the market was cut off by the later appearance of powerful competing models, consumers expected the SM6 to transform itself through a facelift.

The reaction was quite good at the beginning of the new car’s launch. This is because the drivetrain has also changed, and the S-Link, which was identified as uncomfortable, has also improved. Nevertheless, the sales volume of the SM6 has been fighting the record for several months. Why is the sales volume so low despite the facelift? Today’s AutoPost Issue Plus is another step in the history of SM6.

Written Editor Joonyoung Park

After shiny box office at the start of the premiere
I walked all the way down
The Renault Samsung SM6 is the most talkative and absurd car among the domestic mid-size sedans. At the beginning of its premiere in 2016, it enjoyed great popularity, which threatened Sonata and K5. At the time of market launch, it was the first mid-size car in its class to feature LED indicators, nappa leather seats and R-MDPS for sporty, sporty performance.

However, the SM6 went downhill, pointing to the controversial rear-wheel suspension torsion beam as its greatest weakness. Unlike other competing sedans that use multi-linkage, the SM6 had a torsion beam suspension and the second row ride was so stiff that it wasn’t fit for a family car at all. Quality issues have also arisen since launch, and the price of ERA used cars has also become one factor that makes buying new cars uncertain.

He appeared in 4 years
Face lift model
Instead of an innovative change
I’m trying to fix the problems
Then, while the Sonata and K5 underwent a complete revamp, the SM6 recently presented a facelift model that has changed little. As of 2020, the SM6 has been completely abandoned in the mid-size sedan market, so to turn the mood it took something unconventional to crush mid-size sedans in its class to reverse the atmosphere.

However, Renault Samsung has focused on upgrading parts that have been identified as weaknesses in the existing SM6, rather than moving to a full-chain payment facelift. The design has changed only minor details and the controversial rear-wheel suspension retains the torsion beam as before, but uses a modular valve system (MVS) that has been supplemented with a large hydraulic throttle to ensure a comfortable ride.

A little over 500 pieces per month
Very low sales volume even with new bells
However, the sales volume of the new SM6, which is said to have been converted in this way, is not very good. No, it was even worse than before the facelift. The SM6, which sold around 700 per month prior to the Facelift, has now reached just 500 per month.

From the facelift’s launch to November, when sales for the domestic mid-size sedans were added, the Kia K5 took first place with 33,386 units, the Hyundai Sonata came second with 17,250 units, the Renault Samsung SM6 came third with 2,348 units and the Chevrolet Malibu. 2,246 units came last. The SM6’s share is 5%, in fact, you can only see that the new model was completely eliminated from the market at the same time as it was launched.

In November, the mid-size sedan market
He stayed downstairs
Now, looking at the sales volume in November, the results haven’t changed much. In terms of market share, the K5 accounted for 60%, the Sonata 31%, and both models accounted for 91% of the domestic mid-size sedan. This is why Hyundai Kia Motors is said to be the dominant market.

Even the Chevrolet Malibu was overtaken in November, leaving the SM6 at its lowest point of sale. What is the reason for the low volume of sales despite strengthening marketability through face lifting and improving existing weaknesses?

1. “With this money you can buy greatness”
A price problem that was constantly highlighted
The first is the price that is considered the most important among real consumers. The SM6 has undergone a facelift and slightly increased the price compared to the previous model. The gasoline turbocharged 1.3 model costs 24.5 million won for the lowest-priced version and 3,265 million won for the high-end version, and the actual purchase price with tax rises to 3,961 million won for the full option from the lowest 26.61 million won.

For the gasoline turbocharged 1.8 model, the cheapest finish is 3073 million won, and the best finish is 34.2 million won, and the actual purchase price, including tax, increased from 32.82 million won to 4132 million won for full options. As a result, many consumers have no choice but to respond by saying, “It’s too expensive for a mid-size sedan” and “If you add a few options to the SM6, you’d better buy a Granger.”

2. “Even the finest finish
Lane keeping assistance is optional “
Relatively lacking specifications
Options that were relatively inadequate compared to other mid-size sedans were also classified as fatal flaws of the SM6. In particular, many consumers are complaining about the ADAS function.

Competitive Sonata and K5 models come standard with Downhill Lane Keeping Assist as standard, but the SM6 needs to add a Driving Assistance package which costs 940,000 won, even in the premium version which costs 3,265 million won, to alert you about blind spots and lanes. Maintenance aid, a 360 ‘camera was used.

If you choose the mid-range LE, you need to add some optional features to the base price of 28.96 million won so that you can enjoy the same level as other mid-size sedans. But then it would be a pain as 30 million won would be overwhelmed.

3. “It is impossible to help limit the torsion beam”
The drive was still disappointing
By adopting a modular valve system (MVS) and improving ride comfort with high-capacity hydro-liners, actual car owners continued to complain about the SM6’s ride comfort. There is an assessment that it is less rigid than the existing model, but there are still a number of assessments that “the boundary of a torsion beam must not be exceeded”.

In fact, even many customers who have tried a test drive to buy the SM6 are pouring out reviews saying, “I was curious how much it cost after hearing the rumors, so I tried a test drive but the second row drive is different.”

4. “Half the price for a year’s drive”
Serious depreciation of used cars compared to other companies
The very high depreciation of used cars has also become an inevitable factor when choosing Renault Samsung. Many consumers say, “I’m reluctant to buy a new Renault Samsung car due to the negligible depreciation of used cars.”

In fact, you can see that 2019 SM6-style sales of the SM6, which was only about a year old, are now sold at an early start of 20 million won, depreciated 40% based on the price of the new car. You can see that sales for over two years are plentiful even in the last 10 million won. If nearly half of the depreciation is achieved one year after a new car is released, owners who want to sell used cars have no choice but to smile bitterly.

(Photo = Renault Samsung Motors)

5 “It’s hard to sand the air conditioner filter”
Almost worst maintainability
In fact, among Renault Samsung car owners, maintainability is also considered one of the inconvenient factors that are often mentioned. For the recently released XM3 it has improved significantly, but so far Renault Samsung has had to remove the interior material and go through a complicated process despite having to go through one air conditioning filter.

Even among current mechanics, Renault Samsung is famous for its ease of maintenance. Parts prices are also higher than Hyundai-Kia Motors, so incurring high maintenance costs beyond the warranty period is also a downside.

To the needs of consumers
Consistent results with silent or negative responses
In addition, many consumers said, “The various things that have been improved with Facelift are the ones that should be improved one year after its 2016 premiere”, “How many times have Sonata and K5 changed?” They still commented that they couldn’t change their minds.

In particular, the most controversial point of the rear-wheel torsion beam suspension was continued. One internet user said: “If the multi-link is difficult to change due to the design of the vehicle, countermeasures had to be taken quickly, but this was the result of ignoring demand for four years. Unfortunately when consumers react, the SM6 classics are expected to continue. It was Auto Post Issue Plus.

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