Renault sales and earnings drop in tough market

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French carmaker Renault saw its sales and earnings drop last year

PARIS — France’s Renault saw its sales and earnings drop last year and says 2020 will be tough due to the need for investment in new technologies at a time when the market is shrinking.

The company sold 3.8 million vehicles last year, down 3.4%, with revenue dropping about the same rate to 55.5 billion euros. That almost wiped out its net earnings, which amounted to just 19 million euros last year compared with 3.4 billion euros a year earlier.

Interim chief Clotilde Delbos said Friday that “the visibility for 2020 is limited due to an expected volatility in the market.”

Those uncertainties include EU limits on car emissions, which will require car companies to sell more battery-powered vehicles, as well as the impact of the new virus in China.

Renault, which is in a global alliance with Japan’s Nissan and Mitsubishi, said it expects the European car market to shrink 3% this year.

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