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French automaker Renault reports worldwide sales decline of 4.2 per cent in May

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PARIS (AP) _ French automaker Renault said vehicle sales slipped 4.2 per cent in May from a year earlier to 214,358 amid competition from Asian brands and an older product lineup.

Renault is hoping the launch of new and updated models in the second half of this year will arrest the slide and bolster prospects in 2008.

It is about to launch its latest version of the Twingo subcompact.

The flagship Renault brand led the May decline, with a 7.3 per cent drop from a year earlier, the company said in statement.

Buyers held back from Renault's older models ahead of the introduction of new lines later this year.

The news was brighter for sales of Renault's Romanian affiliate Dacia, which makes the no-frills Logan sedan and its derivatives. Sales rose 24 per cent to 24,790 vehicles while sales of the Renault Samsung Motors brand fell 1.2 per cent in May to 9,590.

Sales of cars and light commercial vehicles in Europe and the
Mediterranean last month edged 0.2 per cent lower. In Europe alone,
Renault group vehicle sales fell 9.1 per cent.
But sales in places like Romania, Morocco and Algeria were
strong, as were those in Latin America.

Asian and African sales were up 3.7 per cent. Renault started deliveries of Logans to India in mid-May.

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French automaker Renault reports worldwide sales decline of 4.2 per cent in May
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