Renault, reporting its Q3 results, expects the total European market to be down by 8% this year from earlier forecasts of a decline of between 3-4%, with the French market declining by at least 13% from earlier estimates that it would be 10% down on the year.

As a result, the company expects its own sales to fall short of last year’s record 2.72m units.

Third quarter sales were down 5.8% on 2011 at 596,064 units. But the company noted that sales outside Europe, which account for 55% of group sales, grew 7.7%. Sales in Europe, where the group has an 8.5% market share, were down 18.4%, slumping 23.3% in Italy, 11.7% in France and 18.9% in Spain.

Group revenues for the third quarter were EUR8.447m (US$10.9m), down 13.3% year-on-year.