PARIS, Oct 23 — French auto giant Renault said today that its sales were down in the third quarter, but the figure was cushioned by a boost for its electric models and as the global car market shows the first signs of recovery.
Renault, which does not publish profits on a quarterly basis, said in a statement that revenues fell by 8.2 per cent to €10.4 billion (RM51 billion) in the three months to September and unit sales were down by 6.1 per cent at 806,320 vehicles.
Average analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg had anticipated third-quarter revenue of just under €10 billion.
“The third quarter of 2020 is marked by a recovery in the trend of the global automobile market,” Renault said.
The strong euro was also a factor in the decline in sales as that makes the group’s products more expensive to export.
“At constant exchange rates, the decrease would have been 3.2 per cent,” the carmaker said.
Renault said that “September showed a positive momentum, particularly marked in Europe, where group sales were up 8 per cent in a market up 3 per cent.”
Sales of its battery-powered Zoe model, in particular, more than doubled, soaring by 150 per cent.
“This third quarter highlights the change in our commercial policy, which now focuses on profitability rather than volumes,” said chief executive Luca de Meo.
The group’s electric and hybrid models “have been very well received, our liquidity reserves and our positive spirit give us confidence in the group’s ability to start its recovery,” de Meo said. — AFP