MUNICH – Renault brand passed the Fiat and Opel brands to finish the first quarter No. 3 in European new-car registrations.
The French automaker did this by making the biggest quarterly gain among the region's leading mass-market automakers, according to data from European automakers association ACEA.
Renault sold 324,603 cars in the first three months of the year, an increase of 36 percent. (Click on chart, right)
Last year at this time Renault ranked fifth behind the Volkswagen, Ford, Opel and Fiat brands. The rankings now show VW in the lead followed by Ford, Renault, Peugeot and Fiat. Opel has slipped to sixth place.
Germany leads despite declines
Germany was Europe's top sales market in March and Q1 despite declines of more than 20 percent during the month and the quarter.
Italy was second in sales in March and Q1 with a volume last month of 257,694 units, a 20 percent gain on March 2009, and a 23 percent increase to 666,231 units during the quarter. (Click on chart, above)