Renault lowers 2012 deliveries target because of low sales image

Renault lowered its deliveries target for 2012 after sales in the third-quarter fell 13 percent, affected by Europe’s crisis.

Renault sales fell to 8.45 billion euros ($10.95 billion) from July through September. The carmaker’s auto division revenue dropped 14 percent to 7.93 billion euros.

“Despite solid development outside Europe, the group’s full-year volume will fall short of last year’s level,” the company announced on Thursday. Renault also cut its full-year European market forecast, predicting a decline of 8 percent at best, after it previously expected the market to contract by 6-7 percent.

The French automaker reiterated its goal to achieve positive free cash flow for 2012, but the company’s chief financial officer Dominique Thormann said its safety margin was narrower as Europe’s market slump deepens. In September, Renault had already warned that its goal of matching last year’s 2.72 million deliveries was under pressure.

“Given the deterioration of the European markets, which represent 50 percent of our volumes, our forecast to raise our global sales this year is, on the other hand, strongly under pressure,” Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Renault has said it does not plan to close any of its production facilities, but that it is seeking union concessions in talks on a new nationwide labor deal.