Renault-Nissan CEO sees global car market up 1.5 percent in 2013

Reuters
Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, gestures as he speaks at a news conference in Chennai
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Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, gestures as he speaks at a news conference in the southern Indian city of Chennai July 16, 2013. REUTERS/Babu

PARIS (Reuters) - The head of Renault (PAR:RNO) and Nissan Motor , Carlos Ghosn, sees global auto market growth of just 1.5 percent this year, doubling to around 3 percent in 2014, helped by an improvement in Europe, he told Les Echos newspaper.

Renault had already cut its 2013 global forecast to 2 percent in July from 3 percent in April.

Europe should "see the end of the tunnel next year", Ghosn was quoted by the newspaper as saying on its website on Monday, adding that vehicle sales in the region should be flat to 1 percent higher, ending five years of declines.

The chief executive said vehicle sales at Renault would grow overall, boosted by demand in India, Brazil and Russia. He also told the paper he expected to win market share in Europe thanks to product launches.

Ghosn added that falling exchange rates in emerging markets would have a slight negative impact on Renault's results but would not lead the company to change its targets.

Renault said in late July that it expected higher registrations this year, as well as a positive operating margin and positive operational free cash flow at its automotive division.

The CEO added that the abrupt departure of his No. 2, Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares, last month would not have any impact on the group's strategy or goals.

Renault earlier on Monday named two internal executives - Thierry Bollore and Jerome Stoll - to jointly assume the duties of Tavares as chief competitive officer and chief performance officer.

(Writing by James Regan; Editing by Leila Abboud and Alison Williams)

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