Earthquake hits production
Thormann said the automaker may adjust summer work schedules to meet its 500 million-euro cash-flow goal this year and accommodate disruption from the March 11 Japanese earthquake, which is likely to affect some plants in the second and third quarters.
"The biggest impacts on production look to be limited to summer months," Thormann said, adding that full-year production and delivery volumes are still expected to rise. "The situation will have returned to normal by the fourth quarter."
Global auto production growth will now be below 6 percent this year because of the Japan disaster, Thormann said, adding that he would have raised Renault's forecast had it not been for the earthquake.
"With the supply of certain parts already under strain in the first quarter, the tsunami in Japan has increased the pressure on the global automotive industry's logistics chain and could result in slower production in the coming months," Renault said.
"At this stage, the group's targets for full-year 2011 are unaffected by the expected temporary impact of this slowdown," the carmaker added in a statement.
"Everyone is now working on weaker production than predicted because of the repercussions of the situation in Japan," Societe Generale analyst Philippe Barrier said. "But apart from that, the Renault figures are good."
Sources: Bloomberg News, Reuters