The South Korean unit of French auto giant Renault says it will offer some employees voluntary retirement as sluggish sales continue to squeeze its margins.

In the seven months to July, Renault Samsung Motor's sales fell 34 percent from a year earlier to 93 919. Analysts cited a lack of new models and stiff competition from South Korea's dominant Hyundai-Kia group.

Employees who take voluntary retirement will get two years' salary, two years of education fees for children and other allowances, the company says, without saying how many jobs it wants to shed.

Renault Samsung has been shutting down its sole plant for several days a month since December. The factory in the southern port of Busan has an annual production capacity of 300 000 vehicles.

In July the Renault-Nissan Alliance promised to invest $160 million (R1.3 billion) to roll out Nissan models at the Busan plant from 2014. - AFP