Renault Is Roaring But Is That Enough?

The revved-up carmaker may still be too small to go it alone

When the Paris auto show opens on Oct. 1, Renault executives will be strutting. After years of being written off as the weakest of Europe's big carmakers, the $37 billion French giant is enjoying a turnaround. Profits soared 165% in the first half, to $786 million, and market share is rising as new models lure buyers from rivals such as Ford Motor Co. and Opel. And for the first time in 15 years, a Renault model, the Megane, ranks as the best-selling car in Europe. "On the product side, Renault has gotten it right," says Arthur Maher of J.D. Power-LMC Automotive Forecasting Services in Oxford.

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