Renault is French automaker that, in alliance with the Japanese automaker Nissan, is the fourth largest automaker in the world. The company also owns the Romanian automaker Dacia and the Korean automaker Renault Samsung Motors. It is strong in France, South America, and Africa, while its partner Nissan’s core markets are in Japan, North America, and Southeast Asia. The alliance between Renault and Nissan began in 1999 with each company taking shares in the other company: Renault took a 44% stake in Nissan, and Nissan reciprocated with a 15% share of the French car manufacturer. The alliance has proved very successful for both companies, with each company complementing the strength of the other. Nissan develops gasoline engines, while Renault concentrates on its traditional strength in diesel engines. Nissan concentrates on North America and Japan where the French automaker has no presence, while Renault is able to concentrate on Africa and Europe where it has been traditionally stronger than Nissan.
For the 2009 fiscal year, Renault sold a total of 2.309 million units. While this was a 3.1% decrease from 2008, it was smaller that the total market decline of 4.7%. Because the decline was smaller than the overall market, the group actually increased its market share by.1% to a world market share of 3.7%. The French brand is currently ranked as the third best-selling passenger car brand in Europe. The Company is also the best-selling brand of light commercial vehicles in Europe, a rank it has held since 1998. The Dacia subsidiary of the company logged a 91% increase in sales in Europe in 2009, and now has a European market share of 1.3%. The Dacia Logan passenger car has fueled much of this sales increase, and has helped Dacia become one of the ten best-selling brands in France. Renault Samsung Motors has also posted excellent results for 2009, taking a market share of 9.3%. South Korea is now the Renault group’s third largest market because of the success of Renault Samsung Motors.