French Automaker Renault, which is seeking a replacement for CEO Carlos Ghosn who is in custody in Japan, on Friday announced record sales of 3.9 million vehicles in 2018.

Renault, which is expected to soon call a board meeting to choose a successor to former auto titan Ghosn, sold 3,884,295 vehicles last year, a 3.2 per cent increase over 2017, putting it ahead of French rival PSA Peugeot Citroen.

Sales were driven higher by demand for its low-cost models, including two light utility vehicles manufactured in a joint venture with China’s Brilliance, which offset the effect of its pullout from Iran and a slump in the Turkish market.

The company, said it was aiming for “slight” growth in sales in 2019, “with an acceleration in the second half of the year” thanks to the launch of new models, including a new version of its flagship runaround, the Clio.

The Renault group includes the low-cost models Dacia and Lada as well as Samsung Motors, Alpine and the Chinese brands Jinbei and Huasong.

In a statement Thursday, the carmaker said its governing bodies were now “actively working to find the best solution for the future governance of the group”, a day after the French government, which owns 15 per cent of its shares called for a board meeting to pick Ghosn’s successor.

The statement came hours after a Tokyo court quashed the 64-year-old’s appeal for bail, keeping him behind bars on three charges of financial misconduct.