Renault profits tumble

RENAULT is going to need all the help it can get from its F1 program as its operating profits fell 77% because of the recession and the fact that the company is now beginning to suffer from an ageing product range. The company's figures overall were helped by a profit at Nissan. Renault says that it hopes to make a profit in 2002 but it is possible that the firm could lose money unless the economy picks up. Sales are down 9.5% at Renault but the company has held its market share in Europe. The company is now beginning to launch new models such as the Vel Satis which are being aimed at the luxury end of the market where competition is intense with Mercedes and BMW slugging it out.

Success on the race track will help the cause but at the moment BMW and Mercedes-Benz are both looking like formidable rivals on the circuits.

The company is planning 20 new models in the next three years.

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