Renault's loss compared with a profit of about 1 billion euros a year earlier. Its 35% drop in sales during the period was worse than the global drop, which it estimated at 28%.
“The health crisis we are currently going through has massively impacted the group’s first half results and added to our pre-existing difficulties,” said Clotilde Delbos, deputy CEO.
Due to the uncertainties around the coronavirus pandemic, the company gave no guidance for its full-year earnings.
Renault is in a partnership with Japan's Nissan, which is also struggling financially. Nissan announced plant closures in Spain and Indonesia and both companies are striving to put behind them the perceived damage to their brand and questions about their management that were set off by the arrest on financial misconduct allegations in 2018 of their former star executive, Carlos Ghosn.
Shares in Renault plunged almost 9% on the news of its loss.