PARIS -- Car sales at Renault SA are down 35 percent since May 1 and the situation is forcing car dealers to offer big discounts to customers on some models, a French radio station reported.
Dealers are offering discounts as high as 45 percent on the Clio model, BFM radio station said on Friday.
Renault said the French car market overall remained on a downward trend in May but refused to comment on the report.
"We cannot communicate on May data before early June. The market for May in France seems down," a Renault spokesman said on Friday, adding the downturn was partly due to the end of an incentive program for trading in old models.
Renault was one of the hardest hit automakers in a European car sales decline in April sales, recording a 13 percent decline to 105,799 units from 2010 figures, according to ACEA, the European automakers association.
France, which on Dec. 31 became the last major country in the region to end scrappage payments, reported a combined sales drop of 11 percent in April.
Europe's auto market has contracted for the last three years, falling to 13.8 million vehicles in 2010 from 16 million in 2007, the last year that deliveries gained, according to the carmaker association's figures.
Sources: Reuters and Bloomberg