The Renault group sold 1,306,454 vehicles across the world in first half 2004. Sales rose 6.5% compared with first half 2003, representing an additional 80,000 vehicles. Its world market share increased to 4.3%.

In first half 2004, the passenger and light commercial vehicle (PC+LCV) market grew 3.7% in Western Europe compared with first half 2003. The passenger car market is up 3.2% and the LCV market up 7.7%. This recovery follows a period of steady decline from 2002. Apart from Germany, down 1.3%, the major markets are now on an uptrend: France (up 1.2%), Italy (up 2.7%), United Kingdom (up 3.1%), Spain (up 14.4%).

Against this backdrop, Renault is claiming to be Western Europe’s leading brand in the passenger car, LCV and PC+LCV markets. In Europe, Renault has implemented successfully a selective sales policy accentuating increased profitability rather than growth in market share.

Renault held a 10.9% market share (PC+LCV). These results represent slightly higher sales volumes than in first half 2003, with 976,986 vehicles sold, up 2.4%. On the passenger car market, Renault held a 10.4% market share (down 0.3 of a point) while sales increased 1% to 826,698 units.

Renault confirmed its leading position on the passenger car market in France (28%), with 298,655 vehicles registered.

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It is alos the top-selling brand on the passenger car market in Spain (12.7%) and Portugal (15.6%) where its volumes have risen by 17.1% and 11% respectively. The brand has returned to the number one position in Belgium-Luxembourg (12.3%) and in the Netherlands (9.8% of the market).

Still the leading importer in Germany (5.2% market share), Renault maintained its third place in the United Kingdom (7.4%). With volumes down 10.7%, Renault is the number five brand in Italy (6.9%).

After becoming Europe’s top diesel brand in 2003, Renault is consolidating its position on the diesel market (474,867 vehicles registered, representing a 13.1% market share). This ranking confirms the customer appeal of its dCi engine range.

Outside Western Europe, Renault group sales rose sharply in all regions of the world except for South Korea. A total of 329,468 passenger and light commercial vehicles were sold, up 21% compared with first half 2003.

For the Renault brand, the increase was 36.2%, with 247,288 vehicles sold. This growth is bolstered by the success of Mégane, the saloon version in particular.

Dacia sales rose 34.2% versus first-half 2003, with 41,869 units. The Romanian carmaker recorded its best first half sales results since its acquisition by Renault. This growth reflects the success of the Solenza model and a buoyant export market (19.5% of sales outside Romania).

In Central Europe, Renault consolidated its second place behind Skoda, with a 10.5% market share. Brand volumes increased 2.9% in first half 2004, especially in Poland and Hungary, Central Europe’s two largest markets. Renault also confirmed its number one position in Croatia and Slovenia.

In Eastern Europe and Russia, Renault group sales rose 25.4%. In Russia, the Renault brand is progressing steadily (up 33.4%), bolstered by the success of Clio Symbol and Mégane.

In Turkey, Renault has returned to the number one position, with a 15.9% market share. The recovery initiated in 2003 is holding steady and the market has grown by 221% since the start of the year. With 54,948 registrations, Renault has quadrupled its sales with respect to first half 2003.

In South America, Renault grew its sales by 17.7% on the back of good brand performance in Argentina, with 12,228 vehicles sold (up 64.8%), and Mexico, with 11,374 vehicles sold (up 26.3%). In Brazil, volumes fell by 2.2% (25,981 units).

In Asia-Pacific, group sales fell 30.1% to 46,230 units. Renault brand sales dipped by 3.5% and those of Renault Samsung Motors by 32.1% (40,312 units), due to a sharp drop in the South Korean market (down 29%).

In Africa, Maghreb and the Middle East, group sales increased by 34.4% to 43,688 units, thanks notably to a record-breaking first half in Algeria (12,662 vehicles, up 78.4%), and to strong sales results in South Africa (6,889 units, up 71.1%) and Morocco (5,295 vehicles, up 28.1%).