The No.4 Korean automaker’s new sales and marketing director, Park Dong-hoon, told reporters in October he had “great hopes” the diesel-powered QM3 compact CUV, which is produced by Renault in Spain, would dramatically boost domestic sales.

The former Volkswagen Korea CEO’s great hope was realized in short order.When it was offered in Korea in December 2013, eight months after debuting at the Seoul auto show, the full QM3 allocation of 1,000 units sold out in 7 minutes.

Renault Samsung has a dilemma with the vehicle: It has 17,000 orders written up but is allotted only 2,000 vehicles per month out of Spain.

Korea’s version of the Captur, the QM3 is available in the country only with a dCi 90 1.5L 4-cyl. engine that makes just 90 hp at 4,000 rpm. However, it develops 162 lb.-ft. (220 Nm) of torque at just 1,750 rpm and gets outstanding fuel economy of 64 mpg (3.7 L/100 km).

The QM3 helped the automaker post first-quarter 2014 domestic sales of 21,062 units, a 21.9% gain over prior-year. Renault Samsung’s only two diesels, the QM3 and the QM5 CUV powered by a 2.0L dCi mill, accounted for 20% of the total.

Diesels’ portion of Renault Samsung’s portfolio will increase when the SM5 Diesel is launched, probably in August. That's because the flagship gasoline-powered SM5 has been flagging, pulling down overall sales gains by tumbling 25.9% with just 7,524 units sold through April.