While many manufacturers, and the industry as a whole, saw a drop in sales, the success of the Renault Clio city car and Megane range has increased sales of the French brand by 27.2 per cent according to figures from industry analysts JATO Dynamics.
Sales of other French manufacturers Peugeot and Citroen increased by 13.9 per cent and 9.2 per cent respectively, but no other manufacturer in the top ten saw an increase of more than eight per cent, with many suffering a decrease.
Renault was the best performer during May, buoyed by an increase of over 100 per cent in the UK market of the Clio, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.
The Clio moved up to become the fourth best-selling model in Europe after an overall 15.2 per cent increase in sales and there was further good news for the French marque as the Megane recorded an increase of 16.6 per cent to move into the top ten for the first time.
Even more impressively, the Clio and Megane were two of only three models in the top ten to record any increase in sales in May.
Scrappage schemes in many countries ended in March and April, and subsequently sales have been affected in key countries such as Germany.
However, the 20th anniversary edition Clio, and the new Renault Megane Coupe Cabriolet have helped Renault maintain strong sales performance in Italy, UK and its home market in France.
David Di Girolamo, Head of JATO Consult commented: "The economic waves that are buffeting the European countries are now starting to effect sales of brands that traditionally enjoyed loyalty in their "home" markets, allowing other brands to benefit and establish a stronger foothold."
Renault has also recently released the all-new Renault Wind roadster and a racing-inspired Gordini 200 Clio.