Renault’s first-quarter sales were hit by a global chip shortage and currency fluctuations as the French automaker sought to stem the decline with higher prices and advancing its more profitable models.
Revenue fell 1.1% to € 10 billion as the company said its policy of raising prices had mitigated the drop caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The group prioritizes its most profitable vehicles in key markets beyond Europe, such as the Kiger SUV in India and the Dacia Duster in Russia.
Without the currency change, sales would have increased 4.4%, Renault said Thursday.
The group warned of “rising headwinds” such as foreign exchange and raw material costs as well as “limited visibility due to the shortage of electronic components”.
Sales in the same period a year earlier – a quarter in which the industry was forced to shut down factories with the entry into force of European lockdowns – fell to € 10.1 billion, from € 12.5 billion. euros in the first quarter of 2019.
The French automaker is in the middle of a € 3 billion turnaround plan under the leadership of CEO Luca de Meo, after € 8 billion in losses in 2020.
The plan calls for cutting the plant’s capacity by a quarter and cutting 15,000 jobs, as well as overhauling its brands that include Lada and Alpine. Renault announced the sale of its 1.5% stake in Daimler for around 1.2 billion euros last month.