Low-Cost SUV Leads Renault Sales in 2014 Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images

Low-Cost SUV Leads Renault Sales in 2014

Its low-cost focus helped Renault fare better than many competitors in slumping emerging markets.

BOULOULOGNE-BILLANCOURT - The low-cost Duster sport utility vehicle led Renault's sales in 2014, a year which saw the French group rebound in Europe but run into difficulties in a number of emerging markets.

Sales data released by Renault on Monday showed that overall its sales grew by 3.2% last year, trailing the 3.5% expansion of the global auto market.

However, the data also show that the company's bet on the low-cost segment is paying off, accounting for three out of five of the group's top-selling models and nearly a third of overall sales of 2.7 million vehicles last year.

Renault built up its Romanian subsidiary Dacia in the 2000s as a budget brand, but sells the vehicles under its own emblem in a number of countries.

In fact more Dusters were delivered as Renaults than Dacias in 2014, and overall accounted for nearly 15% of total sales.

Its low-cost focus helped Renault fare better than many competitors in slumping emerging markets, but its non-European sales fell 5.9%.

"Affected by the economic and financial crises on its main emerging markets, the Group held firm and posted record market share in Brazil (7.1%) and Russia (7.9 %), its second and third largest markets," the company said.

In Europe, Renault said it increased its market share by 0.6 points to 10% as its volumes rose by 12.5%, double the market growth.

Renault's shares drifted up 0.06% to 62.98 euros in morning trading while Paris's CAC 40 index was up 0.12% overall to 4384.75 points.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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