PARIS (Bloomberg) -- Renault SA, boosted global sales 14 percent last year to a record as emerging markets rebounded and government sales subsidies drove European demand.
Renault sold 2.63 million cars and light trucks, compared with 2.31 million in 2009, the company said Monday in a statement. Renault believes the European market will stagnate or contract as much as 2 percent this year after the incentives' withdrawal, it added.
Renault will “pursue its growth on buoyant markets outside Europe” in 2011, the carmaker said in the statement, forecasting a 4 percent global auto-market expansion. Sales outside Europe jumped 26 percent, after an 11 percent decline in 2009, as auto demand recovered in emerging markets. Registrations jumped by one-third in Renault's “Eurasia” sales region, which includes Russia and other former Soviet states.
Sales subsidies continued to boost some European markets including France, where the government phased out the original 1,000 euro ($1,290) bonus in three steps ending with its withdrawal Dec. 31. Renault's sales gained 6.1 percent in France last year and rose 8.5 percent in the rest of Europe.
Renault's priorities for 2011 will be its international expansion and the introduction of new battery-powered vehicles beginning in the second half, sales chief Jerome Stoll said in the statement.
Renault will launch three EVs in Europe this year -- the Fluence sedan, Kangoo delivery van and the two-seat Twizy. The subcompact Zoe will launch next year. The Zoe is projected to be the best-selling EV for Renault. Nissan, with which Renault has an EV alliance, is currently rolling out its Leaf electric hatchback globally.
The carmaker said last week it suspended three senior executives as it investigates suspected leaks of electric-car designs and cost data to foreign competitors.