Renault sales hit new record on emerging-market demand

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PARIS (July 16): Renault increased vehicle sales by 9.8% to a new record in the first half, the French carmaker said on Monday, helped by rebounding markets in Russia and South America as well as solid demand at home in Europe.

Renault also raised its global auto market growth outlook to 3% from 2.5%, after reporting 2.07 million deliveries for the six months ended June 30.

The carmaker reiterated a pledge to increase sales further in 2018, with recently updated models such as the no-frills Duster SUV driving demand. "The group is expected to reap the benefits of range renewal across all regions," it said.

European sales rose 4.4% to 1.07 million in the first half, outpacing the market's 2.8% expansion. Sales growth exceeded 15% in the Eurasia region including Russia and 18% in Latin America.

Renault doubled its Brazilian market growth forecast to 10%, also raising Europe to 1.5% from 1%.

India and South Korea were weak spots, with sales down 19% and 25% respectively, hurt by stiffer Indian competition for the Kwid mini-SUV and an ageing lineup at Renault Samsung Motors.

Iran sales fell 10.3% to 61,345 cars, impacted by the likelihood of renewed US sanctions against the country.