Renault model offensive success with quadruple global market growth
18 July 2017
The impressive results were boosted by a strongly resurgent Dacia in Europe, with the frugal brand’s deliveries up 9.3% as its growth recovery continues, led by a refresh of its Sandero budget subcompact. The results helped push Renault’s Europe sales, which still account for more than half of its global sales, up 5.6% in deliveries, outpacing the market.
Outer Paris-based Renault’s strength in Europe in recent years follows a sweeping revamp of its line-up led by its chief designer Laurens van den Acker, having joined the company eight years ago. The bold designs also bear some similarity to the successful new design language of Alliance partner Nissan. Success for the main Renault brand in Europe has recently been bolstered by the strong reception for its Captur mini-SUV. The promising results contrasted starkly with the weaker results of domestic rival PSA Group (Peugeot Citroën), which is looking to finalise its purchase of Opel and Vauxhall to bolster its core European presence. PSA's global first half sales growth of 2.3% fell behind the global market average.
The Renault brand is also growing in power globally, as it taps into new markets. Sales doubled in the reopening Iran market to 68,365 vehicles in the first half and sales in the Asia-Pacific region more than doubled to 100,452 vehicles over the same period. This was boosted by a well-timed SUV launch in China, where sales of its new Koleos SUV more than tripled from a low base to almost 36,000 vehicles.
Sales chief Thierry Koskas said: ‘Our strategy of range renewal and geographical expansion continues to produce results.’
More good news came from Russia as the market returned to 6.9% growth in the first half, leading to Renault’s Russian Lada brand enjoying a 14% sales rise. Renault now expects auto demand in its Russian and Brazilian target markets to grow by 5% or more over the coming year, up from a ‘stable' forecast in February. Renowned Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn has called the Russian market a future ‘cash machine’ for the group, owing to the strength of the Lada brand there.
Renault often targets and performs well in markets where Alliance partner Nissan is weaker, and vice versa. This strategy has resulted in enormous success in recent years. Nissan’s upmarket Infiniti brand is also showing signs of establishing itself and the Alliance’s third-biggest brand Mitsubishi is recovering well too.
This momentum across the board means that this year the Renault-Nissan Alliance is expected to become the vehicle sales leader globally, overtaking both Toyota and Volkswagen Group, unless the fortunes of the latter in particular improve in the second half.
Nissan is also gearing up for the major launch of its second-generation Leaf in the second half of this year, the best-selling all-electric vehicle worldwide. Its electric success, as well as that of Renault’s Zoe, and Nissan’s plans to launch a new long-range EV in 2020 confer confidence that the Alliance’s growth trajectory will continue in the global market’s increasingly electrified future.
Photograph courtesy of Renault