PARIS (AP) – French automaker Renault suffered massive losses of 7.4 billion euros ($ 8.5 billion) in the first half of the year, when the collapse of demand for cars worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic worsened existing problems.

The losses are in sharp contrast to the gains of approximately € 1 billion the previous year. The automaker’s sales were down 35%, worse than the global average, estimated to be 28%.

« The health crisis we are currently going through has profoundly impacted the company’s results in the first half of the year and has added to our pre-existing difficulties, » said Deputy Director General Clotilde Delbos.

Due to uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, the company did not offer an outlook for the rest of the year.

Renault is associated with Japan’s Nissan, which is also experiencing financial difficulties. Nissan is closing plants in Spain and Indonesia, and both companies are trying to improve their image after the 2018 arrest of their previous boss, Carlos Ghosn, accused of embezzlement.

Renault shares fell nearly 9% after the report was released.