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Global sales for French car maker Renault SA rose 3.2% in 2014 as its budget brand Dacia continued to gain momentum, but difficulties in Russia, Argentina and Brazil weighed down results.

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Renault said it sold 2.7 million cars last year. The company's 3.2% increase in sales lags behind overall global demand of 3.5%.

Meanwhile in Europe, sales grew 17.6% as the continent's car market increased for the first time after 6 years of decline. Europe's results don't include Russia.

Renault sold 577,601 cars in 2014 in its home market of France, up 5.5% from the previous year.

Dacia, the Romanian-based marque that has been a driver for growth in the past two years, was a large reason for those gains in Europe. The brand posted a 19.1% increase to 511,465 cars and cars with the Dacia badge now making up 18.9% of the company's total sales.

The best-selling model of the entire Renault group was the Duster, a low-cost sports-utility vehicle that is sold under both the Renault and Dacia badges, depending on the country.

For 2015, Renault expects modest growth of 2%. "Our growth will be sustained by an accelerated product plan, with five new models," said Jérôme Stoll, chief performance officer.

Read more: http://www.wsj.com/articles/budget-brand-is-a-growth-driver-for-renault-1421658183
 

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