Renault expects 2011 to be another record year for its new-car sales despite uncertainty over the global economy, according to the automaker's Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares.
"We will break last year's record. Last year we sold just over 2.6 million cars. This year we will sell a few percent more, '' Tavares told Automotive News Europe in an interview.
He added that Renault expects growth in its sales volume this year to be ''more than 2 percent higher'' than 2010 but ''not more than 8 percent.''
The increase will give Renault a larger market share in Europe, but the automaker will not strive to oust Volkswagen Group, Europe's largest carmaker, from the No. 1 spot.
"We are fighting to be No. 2 or 3 in Western Europe,'' Tavares said. ''I am not going to go after Volkswagen in Europe because they are so far away that I would only destroy the profitability of the company.''
Tavares said he thought it ''reasonable'' for Renault to become Europe's No. 2 automaker by car sales while maintaining profitability.
In the first nine months Volkswagen Group had a 23.2 percent share of the European car market, according to industry association ACEA. No.2 was PSA/Peugeot-Citroen with 12.6 percent. Renault was No. 3 with 9.4 percent, followed by General Motors' Opel/Vauxhall and Chevrolet Europe divisions at No. 4 with 8.7 percent.