International sales for the Renault group in the first half of 2012 hit a record high, rising 14.3% to the market’s 9.5%, thanks to strong performances in Russia and Brazil but this growth was insufficient to offset the 14.9% fall in European sales.

The group sold 1.3m vehicles worldwide, down 3.3% on first-half 2011, despite a positive second quarter (up 1.2%). Market share came to 3.3%, down 0.3 points.

Record sales of 620,306 vehicles, up 14.3% year on year, were made outside Europe which accounted for 47% of group volume compared with 39% in first half 2011.  

Europe sales were down 14.9% owing to a sharp fall in the markets (and France in particular) and to the group’s 'unit margin defence strategy' and the range restructure in the UK.

French group sales contracted 15.2%, the result of a strong first-quarter 2011 boosted by the last deliveries of scrappage-bonus vehicles and a weaker than expected market.

Group passenger car sales fell 3.9% to 1,145,737, for a market share of 3.8%.

Renault sold 182,700 light commercial vehicles, up 0.4%.

Renault brand sales fell 2.4% to 1,113,913.

Dacia was up 2.5% to 181,280.

Sales at Renault Samsung Motors brand plunged 41.2% to 33,244.