Renault says considering Venezuela factory

PARIS Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:40pm EST

PARIS Nov 26 (Reuters) - French automaker Renault is studying the possibility of creating a factory in Venezuela to increase its production capacity outside struggling Europe.

Renault already has three plants in Latin America - in Argentina, Brazil and Colombia - as well as six factories in France.

The Venezuelan industry ministry and Renault have signed a "letter of intention for the installation of a vehicle assembly plant", the carmaker said in a statement on Monday.

"This signature will enable a feasibility study for local production of vehicles," Renault said.

Renault said last week it expected the global auto market to expand by close to 30 percent by 2020 despite the current stagnation in Europe.

Like other carmakers facing a slump in sales to European customers, Renault is trying to tap into emerging markets, where demand remains stronger, with cheaper models. It already expects to make half of sales outside Europe this year. (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)