BARCELONA -- Sales of Renault's no-frills Logan car are exceeding expectations in central and eastern Europe, the French carmaker said on Thursday.
"With almost 2 percent of the market right now we can say we are ahead of schedule," Alain Margaritopol, Renault's head of sales and marketing in central Europe, said at the Automotive News Europe conference.
"Second, as far as ordering is concerned, we are right on schedule with a revised plan launched in the beginning of the year," he said. Renault accelerated its sales projections for the car at the start of 2005 after solid initial demand.
Margaritopol said the Logan, made by its Romanian unit Dacia, had 2.3 percent of the regional market in March and 1.9 percent for the first quarter.
That helped give Renault and Dacia 10.7 percent of the regional market for cars and light commercial vehicles at the end of March, up from 10.4 percent at the end of 2004, he said.
Renault will also launch the Logan in western European markets such as Spain, France and Germany to test consumer reaction, but Margaritopol said sales there would not approach the volumes it is expecting from eastern Europe.
Renault aims to sell 1 million Logans by 2010, but has held out prospects it could well overshoot this target given its strong debut and deals to manufacture the car in a number of other countries, including Iran and Russia.
The Logan was launched in September as a low-cost offering to grab customers in fast-growing emerging markets.