Renault announced Thursday that it was exercising an option to buy an additional 10 percent of Samsung Motors for $54.3 million, boosting its ownership share to 80.1 percent.

Renault Samsung Motors came about when Renault bailed out the debt-laden Korean automaker in 2000. Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn announced in a visit to RSM in late November an expansion plan for the company that includes exporting its SM3 model (pictured) under the Nissan brand in 2006, and co-developing the new C-SUV for both RSM and Renault.

[Sources: Renault, Automotive News]


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