Renault Group on Friday said first quarter global sales reached 552,000 vehicles in a “still very disrupted market context”.

Revenue dipped 2.7% to EUR9.7 billion.

The company increased sales in the most profitable channels, In its five key Europe markets, retail sales accounted for 69% of volume compared with 54% a year ago.

The company claimed to hold an order book in Europe at the end of March at a 15-year high accounting for 3.9 months of sales.

New products strengthened leadership in hybrid and electric mobility, the automaker claimed.

The Arkana, a rebadged South Korean Samsung launched last year, attracted 9,000 orders per month in the first quarter, 60% for the electrified version and 60% through the retail sales channel.

An electrified Megane attracted 10,000 orders in two months, 70% for higher specification versions.

Renault claimed the Dacia Sandero remained the best-selling vehicle – to retail customers in Europe – in the quarter.

The Spring was claimed to be the second most popular EV in France. It sold 9,000 in Europe and booked 20,500 orders in Q1.

The new Jogger rated badly in Euro NCAP’S latest crash test round. The model, sharing the same platform as the two star Sandero Stepway tested by Euro NCAP last year, dropped “cheerlessly” to one star over the lack of a third row rear seatbelt reminder.

Nonetheless, Renault said it “promises to be a new success of the Dacia brand” with 36,500 orders in four months and a 70% ratio for high version orders in Europe.

Electrified vehicles accounted for 36% of Renault brand passenger car sales in Europe over the quarter, up 13 points compared to Q1 2021.

The group said it was strengthening its competitiveness with additional cost reduction programmes and confirmed its financial outlook announced on 23 March, 2022.

“Our sales on the most profitable channels continue to grow and the group’s proactive commercial policy deployed since mid 2020 is bearing fruit,” said CFO Thierry Pieton.