Renault, despite announcing a rise in worldwide sales of 4.2% last year, has issued a gloomy forecast for 2005. Chief Executive Louis Schweitzer said he expects western European car sales to continue flat.It is for that reason that Renault is expanding outside western Europe to take advantage of faster-growing markets, with its no frills car the Logan which is being built in Romania and Russia and will also be produced in Iran and China. Last year cars like the Logan helped it increase sales outside western Europe by 16%. That business now represents more than a quarter of Renault’s worldwide sales.
In Europe, the Megane was its top selling model for the second year running and despite the forecast of a flat market Schweitzer said that he expects the company’s profit in 2005 to rise as it reduces costs through joint purchasing with Nissan and earns more from sales outside of Europe.