Virus hurts Renault Q1 sales

Agence France-Presse
Virus hurts Renault Q1 sales
Renault's sales in January-March 2020 fall to 10.1 billion euros ($10.9 billion), a drop of 19.2% from the same period a year ago

PARIS, France – French automaker Renault reported on Thursday, April 23, a 19.2% plunge in 1st quarter sales amid a general market collapse caused by the novel coronavirus.

The company plans to ask for state loan guarantees to make it through a rough patch after being downgraded by ratings agencies, a statement said.

Renault will not propose a dividend at its annual meeting in June and declined to give an outlook for the rest of the year because the pandemic’s impact on results “is still impossible to assess.”

The group said it would provide more information “as soon as it considers that it is in a position to do so.”

Sales for the 3 months to the end of March fell to 10.1 billion euros ($10.9 billion), a drop of 19.2% from the same period one year earlier.

In the first 3 months of 2020, its automobile activities burned up 5.5 billion euros, but the company said it still had 10.3 billion in reserves at the end of March.

Like its rivals, Renault shut down most of its plants in March, and is slowly beginning to resume operations at some sites in Europe.

Worldwide, the group delivered 672,962 vehicles in the first 3 months of the year, an annualized drop of 25.9% that was slightly worse than the global market decline of 24.6%, the statement said.

For the first time ever, Renault sold more vehicles in Russia than in France in the 1st quarter of the year (115,713 to 110,467), because authorities in Moscow issued confinement guidelines later than counterparts in Paris.

Its 3rd biggest market was Germany, which was well behind with sales of just under 44,000 vehicles.

In terms of volume, results in Europe were down by 36%, with Dacia, one of the group’s best selling brands, dropping by 44.5%.

One bright spot was seen in India however, where the group’s sales gained 3.5% while the sector was 22.8% lower overall.

In South Korea, the new XM3 sports utility vehicle helped Renault post a sales gain of 20.1%, while the sector was 6.8% weaker. –

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