The Renault group set a new sales record worldwide in first half 2011 with 1.4m units, up 1.9% on 2010.

Sales were driven by international business, up 20.4% year on year, and by the Renault brand, up 5.7%.

The group confirmed both its growth potential and globalisation with sales of 542,000 vehicles, up 20.4% on first-half 2010. The share of Renault group vehicles sold outside Europe grew by 6 points and now accounts for 40% of total sales.

In Europe the Renault brand maintained its number two position in passenger cars and light commercial vehicles  with a market share of 8.5%. It also retained its LCV leadership with a market share of 15.2%.

On its domestic market Renault remained the leading brand although passenger car sales contracted owing to the combined effect of low stock levels and supply constraints in a market that exceeded the company’s forecasts.

The Renault brand, which grew 5.7% worldwide and sold 1.1m vehicles, accounted for 83% of the group’s total sales volume. The Dacia brand, sold exclusively in Europe and the Euromed Region, reported a 3% decrease in sales to 177,000 units and the Renault Samsung Motors brand, focused on South Korea, saw its sales fall 36% to 56,000.

Sales and marketing chief Jérôme Stoll said: “Despite mixed results in Europe, the group continued to grow sales, setting a record for first-half sales. This performance was based as expected on strong international growth, with an increase of more than 20%, thanks notably to two key countries for the group, Brazil and Russia.”

The company said that the second half of the year should see divergent trends between Europe and the rest of the world and the group is forecasting 3% to 4% growth in the global market in 2011 compared with 2010, despite decline of up to 2% in the European market and a 4-6% fall in the French market year on year.

Supply difficulties that have mainly affected Europe are expected to be gradually reduced starting this month and the group’s production sites are expected to return to a high level of activity from end-August with delivery times becoming shorter. In France, the group’s market share at end-2011 should be close to that of end-2010.

Stoll added: “Thanks to the strong order portfolio in Europe and the pursuit of our international sales offensive, the Renault group is forecasting a new sales record for the year as a whole. In Europe, the second half of the year will be marked by the launch of the first three vehicles in Renault’s electric range.”