UPDATE 2-Renault plans 'massive investment' to catch rivals in China

lunes 19 de enero de 2015 11:18 GYT

* Renault Group sold 2.7 million cars in 2014

* Strong growth in Europe offset by emerging market falls

* European car stocks: link.reuters.com/fur82v

* European registrations: link.reuters.com/ked67t (Recasts with comments from CEO)

By Gilles Guillaume and Edward Taylor

PARIS, France, Jan 19 (Reuters) - French carmaker Renault will make "massive investments" in China, it said on Monday, aiming to ramp up sales of locally-built vehicles in the world's biggest car market and cut its dependence on cash-strapped Europeans.

Renault has lagged European rivals such as France's PSA Peugeot Citroen and Germany's BMW and Mercedes in expanding in China, relying on strong sales of its popular small and budget cars in Europe and other emerging markets to help it cope in a shaky global economy.

The company said its sales of cars and light trucks rose 3.2 percent last year to 2.7 million vehicles, which analysts said was probably slightly behind global industry growth.

It sold just 34,000 cars in China, compared with 734,000 at Peugeot, but believes all that will change once it starts selling vehicles next year through a joint venture with China's Dongfeng.   Continuación...