Carmaker Renault revealed that worldwide sales of its vehicles had fallen 34.9 per cent in the first half after disgraced boss Carlos Ghosn labelled the recent performance of the Renault-Nissan partnership as “pathetic”.
The French auto giant said that the fall in sales was due to its “high exposure to countries that have undergone a strict lockdown” due to coronavirus.
Despite the drop, the company said that it had seen a “strong recovery” in June as lockdown measures began to be lifted.
It also revealed that sales of its electric model the Zoe had risen 50 per cent in the first half to 37,540 units, making it the best selling car in Europe.
In total, Renault sold 1.3m vehicles in the first half, making it the biggest brand in Europe, but the decline sales put it behn.
The new figures came after former Nissan boss Ghosn hit out at his former employers in an interview with French media.
“There is a market confidence problem in the alliance. Personally, I find the results of Nissan and Renault pathetic”, he said.
“The two companies are looking inwards. There is no longer any real mix of management between Renault and Nissan, but a distrustful distance”.
Since Ghosn departed the Japanese automaker, the relationship between the two firms has been strained, though both have committed towards the future of the arrangement.
Last week new Renault chief executive Luca de Meo said that the alliance was one of the French firm’s “great strengths”.
Commenting on this morning’s results, sales vice president Denis le Vot said: The world is going through an unprecedented crisis with a major impact on our business.
“As soon as the recovery began, our plants and sales network quickly mobilized to meet our customers’ needs, with demand sustained in June by government aid measures in Europe.
“We are starting the second half of the year with a very high level of orders, a satisfactory level of inventory, and a rising price positioning across the entire range”.