French new-car registrations rose 6.5 percent in April, the CCFA indutsry association said.
Renault Group's sales increased by 6.1 percent, with its core brand gaining 8 percent and the no-frills Dacia badge rising just 0.6 percent.
French rival PSA Group fared less well as volume rose 4.1 percent, but sales at its Peugeot brand were up 6.8 percent, beating the market's rise. Citroen sales increased 1.4 percent, while deliveries of the upmarket DS subbrand fell 5.9 percent.
Volkswagen brand passenger car sales were flat, rising just 0.2 percent, but VW Group sales were up 3.1, helped by an 8.9 percent jump in demand for Audi cars.
Fiat brand sales rose 17 percent, while Opel deliveries were up 5.9 percent.
Among other winners in April were Hyundai brand, with volume up 39 percent, BMW brand with a 29 percent gain and the Mercedes-Benz brand, which jumped 23 percent.
• Click here to download PDF for French sales for April by automaker and brand.
The registrations mark a strong start to a year in which Renault and other automakers have predicted weaker growth of around 2 percent for the full 12 months.
Four-month French sales increased by 7.7 percent to 698,212, the CCFA said.