French carmaker Renault SA said that sales declined less sharply than earlier in the year. The company also reported that positive trends had carried over into the third quarter from the second quarter.
Renault plans to raise production by more than 50% in the fourth quarter, compared with the same period last year, when it became necessary for carmakers to slash production in response to plummeting demand.
The group confirmed its full-year target of generating positive free cash flow. Last February, Renault reduced its full-year operating margin goal it had in place before the financial downturn, when the entire auto industry's sales slumped toward the end of last year.
Renault said it is now "well positioned" to achieve its target of a reduction in stocks of about 1 billion euros ($1.5 billion) for the year as a whole. Consolidated revenues at the group, which includes the Renault, Dacia and Samsung brands, dropped 19.9% to 24.093 billion euros in the first nine months compared with the same period last year.
In addition, third-quarter sales fell 11.3% year-on-year to 8.102 billion euros. In a poll participated in by six analysts, Reuters determined that an average of 8.363 billion euros for the sales is expected.
Nevertheless, Renault said the sales decline was more moderate than in previous quarters. The first quarter sales had fallen 30.8 percent year while in the second quarter, it fell 16.9 percent.