French auto giant Renault reported on Tuesday that sales in terms of volume fell 21.3% last year to 2.9 million cars in the market, down 14.2% due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Renault said in a statement that the decline “is mainly due to the company’s large exposure to countries that imposed strict closings … in the second quarter, in addition to another slowdown in the fourth quarter, especially in France.”
For Europe as a whole, sales were down 25.8% to 1.4 million units.
Renault said hybrid and electric cars held up better than conventional cars in the second quarter and in the last three months of the year, orders in this segment increased by 14% over the previous year in Europe.
“From now on we will focus on profitability rather than volume of sales, with higher unit margins,” said Renault’s president Luca de Meo.
Renault continued to dominate the European electric car market last year with sales of 115,888 units, an increase of more than 101%.
The small ZOE model captured the bulk of sales, with 100,000 cars.