Lagging rivals, Renault gross sales fall for fifth straight quarter By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The emblem of carmaker Renault is pictured at a dealership in France

By Gilles Guillaume and Sarah White

PARIS (Reuters) -Renault’s gross sales fell for a fifth straight quarter because the French carmaker struggled to shrug off the fallout from the pandemic with no main presence in booming Chinese language markets and a worldwide scarcity of digital chips hit manufacturing.

Beneath Chief Government Officer Luca de Meo, who took the reins final July, Renault (PA:) is seeking to produce fewer automobiles and deal with these with greater margins, a technique that’s beginning to bear some fruit.

The corporate acquired a lift from rising car costs in January-March, for the third consecutive quarter.

However this was not sufficient to offset the hit from shrinking inventories and different headwinds like unfavourable overseas alternate results, and total income fell 1.1% to 10 billion euros ($12 billion) from a 12 months earlier.

Renault, which additionally makes Dacia and Lada automobiles and has a financing enterprise, stated gross sales have been up 4.4% when stripping out foreign money and different results.

Jefferies (NYSE:) analysts stated the outcomes have been lacklustre and underlying pricing traits the place not very completely different from the remainder of the business.

Renault shares have been down 2% at 0752 GMT.

Like rivals, Renault has been grappling with a worldwide scarcity in semiconductor chips, and the group stated on Thursday the issue might persist till the third quarter, though it expects an enchancment by the top of the 12 months.

Automotive manufacturing fell by tens of 1000’s of automobiles within the first quarter on account of the scarcity, finance chief Clotilde Delbos informed analysts.

Renault, which is chopping prices to attempt to stem losses, has not benefitted like rivals resembling Daimler (OTC:) and Volkswagen (DE:) from a rebounding automotive market in China.

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co, in the meantime, posted its highest first-quarter revenue in 4 years because of gross sales of luxurious automobiles, one other weaker space for Renault.

Renault final 12 months give up its important passenger automotive enterprise in China as a consequence of weak gross sales there, and is extra depending on its core European market, the place some lockdowns to deal with the pandemic are nonetheless in place.

“We’re nonetheless removed from being in a traditional state of affairs,” Delbos informed a convention name, including the group most popular to not give monetary steerage as a result of unsure setting.

Renault was left reeling in late 2018 by a scandal surrounding its former boss-turned-fugitive Carlos Ghosn, who cast the carmaker’s alliance with Japan’s Nissan (OTC:) – a partnership the 2 are actually making an attempt to get again on monitor.

They’re grappling with rising competitors out there for electrical automobiles, an space the place Renault had an early lead however greater rival Volkswagen is now making big strides.

Delbos stated electrical and hybrid automotive fashions have been more likely to attain as much as 15% of group gross sales in 2021, up from 10% final 12 months.

($1=0.8312 euros)

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