Renault Cuts Global Car-Market Forecast as Russia Shrinks

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Renault SA cut its 2015 growth forecast for the global car market in half as once-hot China cools and demand in Russia and Brazil shrinks.

Industrywide car sales this year will probably increase 1 percent, rather than the 2 percent gain predicted earlier. The reduced expectations are “due in particular to the slowdown in the Chinese market and the crisis in Latin America and in Russia,” the Boulogne-Billancourt, France-based manufacturer said Tuesday in a statement.

Renault, which owns 43 percent of Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor Co. as part of a global alliance, has been pushing into emerging markets to reduce its dependence on Europe, a strategy hampered by economic woes in Russia, Brazil and Argentina. The company reiterated a forecast of 5 percent growth for industrywide European deliveries this year.

The French carmaker increased first-half sales 0.7 percent to 1.38 million cars and light commercial vehicles. Growth in Europe, which is recovering from a two-decade low, offset declines in emerging markets. Europe accounted for 62 percent of Renault’s first-half deliveries, up from 57 percent a year ago.

“We strengthened our position in Europe significantly and softened the fall in the Russian and Brazilian markets,” Chief Performance Officer Jerome Stoll said in the statement. With new models like the Kadjar sport utility vehicle boosting market share in Europe, the carmaker expects to “speed up growth in the second half.”

Shares Drop

Renault fell as much as 3.4 percent to 90.93 euros, the lowest intraday price since June 19, and was trading down 3.2 percent at 4:07 p.m. in Paris. The stock has climbed 50 percent this year, valuing the company at 26.9 billion euros ($29.5 billion).

The carmaker unveiled the new Talisman sedan Monday, the fourth vehicle that it plans to introduce this year after the Kadjar, Espace minivan and the Kwid ultra-low cost compact that’s targeted for India.

First-half sales in Europe rose 9.3 percent, while deliveries in the Americas plunged 21 percent and Eurasian sales, which include Russian operations, fell 10 percent.

“These results show that we are less dependent of specific markets and that we know how to seize the opportunities that present themselves,” Stoll said.

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