PARIS (AP) — Renault SA said Thursday that sales of cars and light trucks fell 3.1 percent last year as the global economic downturn hurt auto markets worldwide, and said 2010 will remain “tense.”
In a statement, Renault said it sold 2.31 million vehicles in 2009, down from 2.38 million in 2008.
Volumes were buoyed at year end, when Renault saw a 39.9 percent increase in unit sales, as customers sought to gain the full benefit of a government scrappage scheme.
France is cutting back on the program, which initially offered a €1,000 ($1,440) bonus for trading in old cars for new ones. In the first half it has been cut to €700, although Renault has said it will make up the difference until the end of February.
France’s second largest car maker said its market share rose by 0.1 points to 3.7 percent in 2009 and that it plans to increase that further this year.
Renault expects the European market to fall between 8 and 10 percent this year as the scrappage schemes are phased out.
In France, Renault’s home market, market share rose by 0.6 points to 26 percent with sales volumes up 7.3 percent.
Market share rose in 11 of Renault’s 15 biggest markets, but fell in Britain, Brazil and Iran.
The results compare to Renault’s cross-town rival PSA Peugeot Citroen SA, which said its sales of cars and light trucks slid 2.2 percent last year to 3.19 million units.