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Renault cuts outlook on sliding European sales

Renault cuts outlook on sliding European sales
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French carmaker Renault has cut its domestic and global market forecasts after sales of its vehicles fell by 1.9 percent in the first six months of this year.

It now expects the French market to shrink by eight percent this year. Previously it has predicted a five percent decline.

It sees the global auto market growing two percent instead of the three percent it forecast in April.

Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said last week that he did not expect any significant European market rebound for “several years”.

Renault’s first-half deliveries dropped to 1.3 million vehicles from 1.33 million a year earlier as the European sales slump undermined gains elsewhere.

The group still aims to “sell more vehicles worldwide in 2013 than in 2012 and win back market share in Europe”, sales chief Jerome Stoll said.

Conditions did improve in the second quarter, Renault said. Its European sales fell a more modest 3.1 percent in the period and rose five percent elsewhere, according to a company spokesman.

Renault’s 43.4 percent stake in Nissan and its budget range – including the low-cost Dacia brand – have protected it from the worst of Europe’s problems. The market is headed for a sixth annual decline to a two-decade low in 2013.