Paris - Renault’s global sales have fallen for the third year running in 2021 due to electronic chip shortages and the impact of its new commercial policy.
Renault's sales dropped by 4.5 percent last year even as competitors fared better in a relatively stable market compared with the auto industry's pandemic crisis year of 2020.
The company trimmed costs and its workforce and adopted a strategy of targeting more profitable sales instead of large volumes, contrasting with its record sales of low-cost vehicles in recent years.
Renault's vehicle sales in 2021 almost reached 2.7 million, 1.2 million fewer than in 2018, but Volkswagen, Stellantis, Toyota and Hyundai-Kia have suffered less significant falls or recorded higher sales.
Chief executive Luca de Meo this month said shortages of electronic components meant around 500 000 cars were not produced.
The group's Dacia and Alpine labels recorded higher sales in 2021.
Renault's sales director Fabrice Cambolive said the brand's sales will remain "stable" in 2022 but could rise due to higher demand.
Hybrid and electric vehicles represented 30 percent of Renault's sales in Europe in 2021, up from 17 percent in 2020. The group is aiming to increase that share to 100 percent by 2030.
Renault simplified its offer by removing cars from its range and increased its list price by four percent in 2021 as it tries to gain a foothold in the market for compact cars, which dominates the European market.