Renault (RENA.PA) has yet to emerge from the global economic crisis, although the auto sector should see a gradual rebound from 2010, the French car maker's chief operating officer, Patrick Pelata, told French newspaper La tribune on Monday.
Pelata said in an interview that the company was in the process of drastically reducing its stocks to improve its cash situation, but from an operating point of view, Renault has not come out of the crisis yet, he added.
There are obvious signs of growth. But we need to make the difference between stock rebuilding and the impact of scrapping schemes, and the overall trend, Pelata said in an interview.
Governments in all major European markets have stepped in to help carmakers hit by an industry sales slump with scrapping schemes to encourage drivers to buy new cars by paying them a cash bonus when they trade in old cars for newer, greener ones.
European carmakers have called repeatedly for a gradual end to the scrapping schemes, many of which are due to finish around the end of the year, warning that an abrupt end to the funding could spark a further plunge in sales.
We foresee a slow rebound spread over several years from 2010 onwards. American households remain indebted, and so are the British and the Spanish. In the United States, unemployment keeps progressing even if the job destruction rate has slowed. (Reporting by Marie Maitre; editing by Simon Jessop)