TOKYO - The French-Japanese auto alliance of Renault and Nissan is investing $160 million in its South Korean Renault Samsung Motors to boost annual production by 80,000 vehicles, taking advantage of the nation's free trade agreement with the U.S.
The plant in the southern city of Busan is now making 180,000 vehicles a year, sold in South Korea and 60 other nations.
The investment, announced Friday, will be for the next-generation Nissan Rogue crossover sport-utility vehicle, starting production in 2014, with annual capacity of 80,000 vehicles.
Renault Samsung Motors is the first European carmaker to set up operations in South Korea. Renault owns 80.1 per cent of the manufacturer.
South Korea has a free trade agreement with the U.S. and is negotiating deals with Canada and Mexico, where the Rogue is also headed.