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Renault in 2005: the year of the Clio and ongoing international expansion

March 2005
March 1, 2005 -- The Renault group put in an excellent performance in 2004, selling almost 2.5 million vehicles. Renault is Europe's leading brand, and the Group sharply increased sales outside of Western Europe. Revenues rose by 8.4% and net income hit a new record of €3.5 billion. Expansion was bolstered by the launch of two major new products, Logan and Modus.
Renault will continue growing in 2005. In particular, it will launch the all-new Clio, continue rolling out Logan – with production starting in Russia and Morocco – and expand into new markets.

The Renault group's worldwide sales increased significantly in 2004. Sales rose by 4.2% to a record 2,488,523 units, taking Renault's worldwide market share to 4.1%. Renault consolidated its position as Europe's leading brand, and stepped up growth outside Western Europe, where sales rose by 16.4%. Revenues grew by 8.4% in 2004, and net income hit a record €3.5 billion.

The Group's expansion into new markets is continuing. This effort involves projects in Iran, Russia and Morocco, along with the launch of Logan.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance ranked fourth among the world's leading carmakers in 2004, with more than 5.7 million vehicles sold.

Renault accelerates international expansion For the seventh year in a row, Renault was Western Europe's leading brand in passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, with market share of 10.8% and 1,778,828 vehicles registered, an increase of 0.3% relative to 2003.

Mégane's success continued, and it was the top-selling model in Europe in both 2004 and 2003.
& © Renault - Direction de la communication / Corporate Communications Modus was launched in September 2004, and got off to a good start. In its first full year of sales, Scénic II was the leading compact MPV in Western Europe, with a 23.1% share of this market segment. Light commercial vehicles also put in an excellent performance, with sales up 8.1% in a growing market.

Outside Western Europe, sales accelerated significantly. Sales in this zone grew by 16.4% to 676,870, and accounted for 27.2% of the Group total.

The relaunch of Romanian carmaker Dacia was a success, with sales rising by 38.6% to 95,296 units.

Sales at Renault Samsung Motors totalled 85,046, due to problems in the South Korean market. RSM's new model, the SM7 high-end sedan, was launched in November 2004, and will enable RSM to return to growth. In the space of two months, SM7 orders have reached 10,000 units.

Operating margin: 5.9% of revenues In 2004, Renault's revenues rose 8.4% to €40.7 billion, driven by the successful product range and a higher mix of vehicles sold, along with faster sales growth outside Western Europe. Operating margin was €2.4 billion, up more than €1 billion relative to 2003, due to wider margins in Europe and internationally. The Group posted record net income of €3.5 billion, an increase of 43%. Debt reduction also accelerated, with debt falling from €1.2 billion to €541 million, in line with the target of having zero debt by end-2005.

A decisive year in terms of international expansion The Renault group launched two major new products in 2004: Logan and Modus.

Logan is a modern, reliable and affordable car, and is currently unrivalled in the market. It was launched in Romania in September 2004, and is gradually being rolled out across Central and Eastern Europe. Performance has exceeded expectations, with almost 40,000 orders in the space of four months, and the car has been a hit in its initial markets.

Some major phases of the Logan programme were completed in 2004: the launch of manufacturing projects in Iran, Morocco and Russia, the continuation of a project in China and initial talks in India.

Modus was launched in September 2004 in Western Europe, and rounds out Renault's offering in the small car segment. Initial performance has been excellent, with 75,000 cars sold by end-January 2005.
2005: a broader, rejuvenated product range, and a further roll-out of the Logan project In 2005, the Group will benefit from a broader, more youthful product range. With the Mégane range, whose seven body types have all been successful, and a strong line-up in light commercial vehicles, sales outside Western Europe will continue to grow. In the small car segment, Modus will have its first full year of sales, while the all-new Clio will be introduced in the second half. Laguna and Vel Satis will benefit from the launch of new versions in the first half of 2005.

The Logan programme will also be extended in 2005. In the first half of the year, the Logan will be launched in around 15 countries, including Syria, Poland, the Baltic States and Lebanon. In addition, production will start in Russia in the first half and Morocco in the second, followed by Colombia in late 2005. The Logan will be sold in Western Europe as of the end of the first half.

Overall, the Renault group will maintain volume growth in 2005, on the back of new product launches, the build-up of Logan and expansion into new markets.

The Alliance: the world's fourth-largest automotive group

In 2004, the Renault-Nissan Alliance celebrated five years of cooperation. The Alliance is the world's fourth-largest automotive group in terms of units sold, with total sales of 5,785,231 vehicles. Its market share was 9.6% in 2004, up 8% relative to 2003.

The Alliance is continuing to benefit from strong synergies in all areas. It is increasingly taking advantage of Renault and Nissan's good geographical fit. A new Renault-Nissan subsidiary was set up in Portugal in January 2005, taking the number of single legal entities in Europe to seven. As of mid-2005, a regional spare parts warehouse, located in Hungary, will cover both Renault and Nissan's activities in Central Europe.

In 2004, Renault and Nissan each launched two new models built on the Alliance B platform. Modus is the first Renault vehicle to be produced on the B platform, while Nissan has been using the platform since 2002 for Micra, March and Cube. In 2004, Nissan also released its first vehicle – the Lafesta compact minivan – on the Alliance C platform, which Renault has used since 2002 for Mégane.

The development of common powertrains in 2004 is another example of successful cooperation within the Alliance. The first joint petrol engines, the 1.5- and 2.0-litre units, have started to power Nissan models. The first common manual gearbox will be offered on Modus in the first half of 2005.


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