Move over Toyota, move over Volkswagen.
The world’s largest automaker by volume is now, for the first time, the Renault-Nissan alliance. It sold 5,268,079 vehicles in the first half of 2017. In doing so it outsold Germany’s Volkswagen (5,155,591) and Toyota Motor (5,129,000). Long-time world leader General Motors trailed behind in fourth with around 4.7 million vehicles sold.
Admittedly, the numbers are not exactly like-for-like: Renault and Nissan have separate sets of shareholders, even though they own big cross-shareholdings and share each other’s technology and marketing resources. By contrast, Toyota, VW and General Motors all answer to a single board and a single set of shareholders.
What put the Franco-Japanese alliance top for the first time was the addition of Mitsubishi, in which Nissan took a controlling 34% stake last year.
Between the three brands, the alliance also reported sales of 481,151 electric vehicles, the highest of any group in the world. In Europe, it boasts the two top-selling battery electric cars, in Renault’s Zoe and Nissan’s Leaf, as well as the top-selling plug-in hybrid in the Mitsubishi Outlander.