PARIS: French carmaker Renault on Tuesday posted a 0.7 percent increase in first-half sales volumes, as a recovering European market helped offset slowing Chinese demand and a sales collapse in Russia and Latin America.
Renault's global registrations rose to 1.386 million light vehicles in the six months ended June 30 from 1.367 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement.
European sales rose 9.3 percent. But the maker of Clio subcompacts and low-cost Duster sport utility vehicles halved its full-year global market growth forecast to 1 percent after first-half sales outside its home region tumbled 10.6 percent.
The trimmed outlook reflects "the slowdown in the Chinese market and the crisis in Latin America and in Russia", Renault said.
No-frills models such as the Duster and Sandero hatchback suffered from the downturn in Brazil and Argentina, compounded by the Russian market's 37 percent contraction under the weight of international sanctions.
The so-called Entry line recorded a 5.4 percent sales decline to 540,793 vehicles, shrinking to 39 percent of total group sales from 42 percent a year earlier. Registrations of Renault's mid-market vehicles rose 5.2 percent.
The sales shift back to mainstream models may continue, thanks to a rash of recent launches including Renault's first compact offroader and the Espace large crossover SUV - which replaces the outmoded minivan of the same name.
Renault expects to achieve a further increase in its share of the European market - itself seen growing 5 percent for the full year - after outpacing the region's 8.3 percent sales expansion in the first half.
The many new models in Renault's lineup "confirm our ability to speed up growth in the second half of the year", sales chief Jerome Stoll said in the company statement.