PARIS, July 16 (Reuters) - Renault increased vehicle sales by 9.8 percent to a new record in the first half, the French carmaker said on Monday, helped by rebounding markets in Russia and South America as well as solid demand at home in Europe.
Renault also raised its global auto market growth outlook to 3 percent from 2.5 percent, after reporting 2.07 million deliveries for the six months ended June 30.
The carmaker reiterated a pledge to increase sales further in 2018, with recently updated models such as the no-frills Duster SUV driving demand. “The group is expected to reap the benefits of range renewal across all regions,” it said.
European sales rose 4.4 percent to 1.07 million in the first half, outpacing the market’s 2.8 percent expansion. Sales growth exceeded 15 percent in the Eurasia region including Russia and 18 percent in Latin America.
Renault doubled its Brazilian market growth forecast to 10 percent, also raising Europe to 1.5 percent from 1 percent.
India and South Korea were weak spots, with sales down 19 percent and 25 percent respectively, hurt by stiffer Indian competition for the Kwid mini-SUV and an ageing lineup at Renault Samsung Motors.
Iran sales fell 10.3 percent to 61,345 cars, impacted by the likelihood of renewed U.S. sanctions against the country. (Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)