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Renault slightly more upbeat on European market

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Renault slightly more upbeat on European market

Automotive News Europe -- September 17, 2010 06:01 CET

PARIS (Reuters) -- Renault SA has a more optimistic forecast for European car sales in 2010 because the end of subsidies has hit sales less than feared, Chief Operating Officer Patrick Pelata said.

Renault expects a 7 percent decline in the market, Pelata said. In July, the company said it expected Europe's car market to contract by 7 percent to 9 percent in 2010.

Carmakers have benefited from scrapping incentive schemes introduced last year in key markets such as France, Germany, Spain and the UK to spur demand for cars, but they have voiced concern about a difficult second half of 2010.

"We said between 7 percent and 9 percent lower for the full year. We're closer to a 7 percent drop today," Pelata told reporters on Thursday at an event to mark 100 years of Renault's presence on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

"We see less uncertainty about the end of the year than we saw in July ... so things are getting back to normal more gently than we feared," he said. "But the fall in the European market is nonetheless there."

Most European scrapping incentive schemes have run out but France's scrapping bonus will stay in place, albeit at a reduced level, until the end of the year.

Renault raised its full-year market forecasts in July, saying consumer demand had proved to be more robust in some markets than it had expected.

It had previously expected demand to fall 10 percent.

European auto industry group ACEA said on Thursday that EU new-car sales fell 12.9 percent to 701,710 units in August. The double-digit decline pulled eight-month sales down 3.5 percent to a little more than 9 million.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100917/ANE/309169938/1193#ixzz0znW0YxYn

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