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Despite Ghosn row, French Renault rides to record sales

Despite Ghosn row, French Renault   rides to record sales

Paris: French carmaker Renault unveiled record sales Friday of nearly 3.9 million vehicles last year, even as it prepares to turn the page on the era of chief executive Carlos Ghosn who remains behind bars in Tokyo on fraud charges.

The company said sales in 2018 were up 3.2 percent from the previous year putting it ahead of its French rival PSA, whose brands include Peugeot, Citroen and Opel.

Sales were driven higher by demand for Renault's low-cost models, including two light utility vehicles manufactured in a joint venture with China's Brilliance, which offset the effect of its pullout from Iran because of renewed US sanctions and a slump in the Turkish market.

Renault's Dacia and Lada brands also continued to book brisk sales, rising seven percent and 19 percent respectively.

And electric vehicle sales jumped 37 percent, led by the Zoe, though they still represented just under 50,000 cars sold last year.

Renault said it was aiming for "slight" growth in sales "with an acceleration in the second half of the year" thanks to the launch of new models, including an updated version of its flagship Clio compact.

Last year marked a sixth straight year of higher sales for the group.

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