Renault gears up for sales drive

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 November, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 November, 1994, 12:00am

FRENCH car-maker Renault is expanding its operations in Southeast Asia, particularly in Hong Kong and China.

Renault recently assigned Jebsen Motor Group as its importer and distributor in Hong Kong, Macau and southern China.

Jebsen's Hong Kong sales projection for the whole of next year is about 400 cars, which accounts for about one per cent of the territory's market share.

Renault vice-chairman Patrick Faure said in Hong Kong yesterday that by 2005, the company hoped to be selling 50,000 to 100,000 cars in Southeast Asia, excluding about 10,000 to 15,000 cars which will be built in a Hubei joint-venture plant over the next two years. The venture got underway in March.

Renault sells about two million units each year worldwide, 30 per cent in France.

Mr Faure said it would probably take Renault 20 years to establish a strong market share in the region.

He said Renault - which had a good response to its initial release of 49 per cent of its stake on the open market - would go for full privatisation in the second half of next year.

'The date hasn't been officially set yet, because next year we have the presidential election in France, but most likely it will happen in the second half of 1995,' Mr Faure said.

The government still owns 51 per cent of Renault shares. Of the 49 per cent of shares on offer, about 22 per cent are for institutional investors, and these are already 15 times oversubscribed.

Five per cent of the shares will be for company employees and the rest will be for the French public.

Mr Faure said Renault had been operating like a privatised company for 10 years and the government's partial release of shares had not brought about changes in the day-to-day operation.

He said full privatisation would give Renault greater flexibility.