PARIS -- Sales of Renault's full-electric Zoe car jumped nearly 50 percent in the first half to 37,540 units, a rare bright spot amid the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
Most of the demand was in Europe, where the Zoe became the best-selling EV thanks in part to generous government incentives, the automaker said Monday in a statement.
The automaker's overall sales in the period, however, fell 35 percent, to about 1.26 million vehicles, because of lockdown measures in countries from Italy to Russia.
"We are starting the second half of the year with a very high level of orders, a satisfactory level of inventory, a rising price positioning across the entire range," said Denis le Vot, the company's head of sales and marketing.
Renault was a big beneficiary of subsidies that France -- its biggest market -- implemented last month to get consumers to switch to cleaner cars.
In Europe, customers ordered about 11,000 Zoes in June alone, bolstering Renault's bid to meet more stringent emissions rules this year.
Renault, like its peers, has been hit hard by COVID-19, which shuttered showrooms and factories around the world. The company has announced a sweeping cost-savings plan, and the French government's aid is aimed at saving jobs in the industry.
Renault's sales dropped by a fifth in Russia, its second-biggest market, by 29 percent in India and by 47 percent in Brazil, according to the statement.