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CURITIBA, Brazil, Aug 2 (Reuters) - French carmaker Renault will produce the sport utility Captur and the compact Kwid at its plant in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba, Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn said on Tuesday.
Ghosn told reporters in Curitiba that Renault sees the Brazilian auto market stabilizing after steep sales reductions amid the country’s worst recession in decades. Ghosn is the CEO and chairman of the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
The two new models should reach Brazil’s dealers in 2017 and help the French company increase its market share, currently at 6.7 percent.
Ghosn said it is targeting an 8 percent share and believes there is potential to grow it to 10 percent in the coming years.
“Right now we see Brazil’s auto market recovery with great hope. I don’t think anybody believes the Brazilian market will stay at around 2 million vehicles (of annual sales),” said Brazilian-born Ghosn.
Renault’s market share in Brazil grew strongly from below 4 percent in 2009 as the company added capacity and launched popular new models such as the Duster, a compact SUV going head-to-head with Ford Motor Co’s EcoSport.
However, Brazilian auto sales have fallen by half since their 2012 peak due to a severe economic downturn and ineffective industrial policies. Automakers have said they see the market stabilizing after the brutal contraction, which drove sales to the lowest level in a decade during the first half of the year.
Ghosn said Brazil has the potential for annual sales around 3.5 million to 4 million cars. He also said the company expects other emerging markets, such as India and Africa, to grow robustly in coming years. (Reporting by Sergio Spagnuolo; Writing by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Dan Grebler)