Japanese quake hits Renault

City A.M. Reporter
RENAULT pared its forecast for a rise in the global auto market this year after disruption from the Japanese earthquake and said Europe, a key market for the French carmaker, will lag the rest of the world.

Renault, whose partner is Japan’s Nissan yesterday predicted a 3-4 per cent rise in worldwide sales volumes in 2011. The group, whose brands also include Renault Samsung Motors and low-cost Dacia, stuck to its forecast for Europe to lag the global trend with a 0-2 per cent fall.

In January, Renault had forecast a rise in the global market of more than four per cent, before the earthquake in March that devastated Japanese automotive parts suppliers and had knock-on effects for the global automotive industry.

Renault shares closed down 1.39 per cent at €37.82.

Renault said it now saw a 4-6 per cent fall in its home market of France, compared with a previous prediction of an 8-10 per cent drop.

The French automaker reported a 1.9 per cent rise in its own first-half vehicle sales, boosted by international growth.

Carmakers are chasing sales growth in booming markets such as Brazil and India as sales stagnate in mature regions like Europe.