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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 - Demand - Renault - Models - Utility
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.
Vehicle - Sales - Percent - Zoe - Cars
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.
Year - Year - Sales - Group - Part
Last year marked a sixth straight year of higher sales for the group, which is part of a powerful alliance with Japan's Nissan and Mitsubishi that Ghosn headed before his arrest in Tokyo in November on charges of financial misconduct.
Within days of being taken into custody he was fired as chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi, but Renault kept him on as chief executive while waiting to see how the case would unfold.
Days - Renault
But his days as Renault boss appear numbered.
In a statement Thursday, the carmaker said its governing bodies were now "actively working to find the best solution for the future governance of the group".
The French government, which owns...
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