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Renault sales rise 10.4 pct to record

French carmaker Renault posted record vehicle sales for the first half as a sustained product offensive lifted global deliveries by 10.4 percent – with a well-timed China SUV launch and renewed push into Iran both contributing.

Sales advanced to 1.88 million light vehicles in January-June, Renault said on Monday, four times the rate of the global auto market’s 2.6 percent expansion.

Renault, based in the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt, is reaping the rewards of a comprehensive overhaul of its lineup under chief designer Laurens van den Acker, who joined the company eight years ago. Sales have also benefited from a surge in European demand for the group’s no-frills Dacia brand and more recently from the success of its Captur mini-SUV.

“Our strategy of range renewal and geographical expansion continues to produce results,” sales chief Thierry Koskas said.

In Europe, which still accounts for most of its sales, Renault posted 5.6 percent growth in deliveries, outpacing the market thanks to Dacia’s 9.3 percent surge following a revamp of its Sandero budget subcompact.

Sales in the reopening Iranian market more than doubled to 68,365 vehicles.

New models for the Russian Lada brand helped deliver a 14 percent sales gain for the group in a market that returned to 6.9 percent growth.

Auto demand in Russia and Brazil is expected to grow 5 percent or more this year, Renault said, upgrading the “stable” market forecasts given in February. It also predicted global market growth of 1.5-2.5 percent, compared with a previously forecast range of 1.5-2 percent.

Asia-Pacific sales rose by more than half to 100,452 vehicles in the first half, Renault said, helped by demand for its new Koleos SUV in China, where sales more than tripled to almost 36,000 vehicles.

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