PARIS (AP) _ Renault SA is counting on the success of its new
Laguna upscale sedan to help turn around the French carmaker's
fortunes, deputy Chief Executive Patrick Pelata told Le Monde on
Renault unveiled the specifications of its new Laguna III _ which
goes on sale Oct. 12 _ on Tuesday. The replacement for the mid-sized
Laguna is part of a planned offensive which will see the launch of
26 new models between 2006 and 2009.
``Even if the company is really counting on the success of this
car, the Laguna III doesn't summarize just by itself the future of
Renault, it's the first step,'' Pelata told Le Monde.
Earnings fell 20 per cent in the first half of 2006 after what
Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn called a ``transition year.'' Ghosn is
also pinning his hopes on the rapid expansion of the low-cost Logan
sedan _ launching this year in India, Iran and Brazil _ as well as
the launch of a new Twingo super-mini.
Despite a recent fall in sales, Pelata told Le Monde he expects
the launch of the Logan in Latin America, India, Iran and Russia to
allow Renault to meet its objective to sell an additional 800,000
additional cars a year by 2009.