French car maker Renault said on Friday that its sales in Russia rose 48% in the first half of 2003 to 5,290 compared with the same period last year, Dow Jones reported.

According to the news agency, Renault said that, while other European car producers have suffered from the falling value of the ruble, Renault reaped benefits from introducing four new models into the Russian market: the Vel Satis, Clio Renault Sport, Megane II hatchback and the new Kangoo [a recently updated range of load and passenger-carrying vans]. The Symbol, part of the Clio family, also accounted for 2,362 Renault sales, Dow Jones added.

The report said that Renault assembles Symbols in Russia, but the car maker didn’t say how many Symbols sold in the first six months were assembled locally. Car loans also helped raise sales, Renault reportedly said.