The French brand has managed to trump Ford’s usual position on the Old Continent thanks to its introduction of new crossovers that boded well with the general market direction.
Renault reached the sales goal about a year earlier than first anticipated, having reach the number two position in Europe following the results of the first six months of the year – mostly thanks to its lucrative position in the hot crossover market. The Clio B-class car is still the top seller in the French automaker’s lineup, but the Captur crossover and lager Kadjar brothers were second and third following good sales advances during the first half of the year. The Renault total for the first six months of 2016 reached 595,316 units, which is up 15 percent compared to the same period last year, while the entire European auto market only surged nine percent over the same timeframe.
While hatchbacks and minivan sales are dwindling – with Renault having invented the latter for Europe – the French automaker was a bit late to the crossover party. But its models proved highly successful nonetheless, with the Kadjar for instance jumping in its first full year of availability. Renault was looking to become the second best-selling brand in Europe by 2017, but managed to come out a year early. Meanwhile Ford delivered 565,879 cars for the third place and Volkswagen remained in a comfortable top position with 909,470 autos, even as the Dieselgate scandal is still unfolding.