Renault first quarter group revenue fell 8.6% to EUR9.5bn (US$12.6bn), while units sold dropped 7.9% to almost 639,000.

The disappointing results reflect tough times in Europe, but even more so in Renault’s home market where the overall market plunged nearly 20%.

In Europe, where the market fell 8.1%, Group sales decreased 20%, taking market share to 9.1%. The drop in sales was amplified by a French market that contracted 19.4% in the first quarter of 2012.

Despite the gloomy European outlook, the Group continued its momentum outside Europe with share gains in the Americas, Eurasia and Euromed-Africa regions.

In the previous year, the first quarter had seen a surge in deliveries due to the phasing out of scrappage incentives.

Ahead of the renewal of its range, the Renault brand ranked third in Europe with a 7.6% share of the passenger car and light commercial vehicle market. It maintained its leadership in LCVs with a 16.6% share of the market.

Outside Europe, the Group posted a 12.3% rise in sales in the first quarter. The mix of sales outside Europe reached 46%, up eight points on the first quarter of 2011.

In the Eurasia Region, sales increased 27.5% in a market that rose 17.7%. Russia confirmed its position as the Group’s number-four market.

In the Americas region, Group sales rose 14.9% despite a slowdown in the growth of the market, which increased by 2.4%. Both Brazil and Argentina are in the Group’s top-five markets.

In Brazil, where the market was almost flat, Renault’s sales increased 36.5%, reaching a market share of 6.8%.

In the Euromed-Africa region, sales increased 7.6% in a stable market (-0.1%), with a sharp 25.4% fall in the Turkish market offset by rises of 39.5% and 13.5% respectively in the Algerian and Moroccan markets.

In the Asia-Pacific Region, Group sales rose 5.4% in a market that grew 7.2%.

For the full first quarter results, please click here.