Renault aims to double market share in Brazil image

Renault-Nissan must double its market share in Brazil to at least 10 percent to stay competitive and fend off rivals in Latin America’s largest economy, Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said on Wednesday.

The automaker needs to add new models to foster growth in a market that sells about 3 million units a year, Ghosn told journalists. He added, current models are “incompatible with a 10 percent to 20 percent market share,” which the company wants to attain.

Renault controls 5 percent of the Brazilian market for family vehicles, which has boomed this year after a series of government tax breaks that were aimed at helping industrial production emerge from its worst downturn in more than a decade.

“The next step (for Renault-Nissan) is to reach 10 percent, so we can be competitive,” said Ghosn, who was attending a conference at the Brazil-France Commercial Chamber. “There is no reason for us to have 5 percent” market share in Brazil, he added.

As part of the efforts to revamp the automaker’s operations in Brazil, Ghosn said the company would try to produce more flex-fueled commercial vehicles. Brazil has more than half its car fleet capable to running on gas or ethanol.

Renault-Nissan ranked sixth in Brazil’s auto market in June, with sales of cars and light vehicles of 12,972 units, an 18.6 percent growth from the same month of 2008.

French rival Peugeot-Citroen was in fifth place, with 15.325 units. market leader Fiat sold 70,645 vehicles in June, almost six times more than Renault-Nissan.

The company is gauging more Brazilian investments in the medium-term, Ghosn said.

He also predicted that the world would recover from international financial crisis between 2011 and 2012.