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Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

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26 new Renaults by 2009

2006-02-10 09:27

Ghosn, announcing a raft of objectives and new projects for the company, said Renault would launch very few new models this year but would aim to roll out 26 new models by 2009.

Renault, which saw its operating performance fall below the average of the industry in 2005, has suffered from rising raw material costs, a highly competitive European market and its dependence on sales of its Megane family of cars in Europe.

Ghosn, who has a reputation as an expert at revitalising ailing companies, said he aimed to make Renault "the most profitable generalist car maker in Europe".

Commenting on the group's operating margin for 2005, he said: "We cannot be satisfied with an operating margin of 3.2% " which was "inferior to the average margin of other world car makers which is 3.6% ".

He said he would aim for an operating margin of 9.0 percent by 2009.

Renault had said earlier that net profit in 2005 totalled €3.367bn, a rise of 18.7% compared with 2004 and the best figure in the history of the company.

However, operating profit plunged %37.8 to €1.323bn from €2.115bn in 2004.

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