Renault-Nissan Said It Would Be the World’s Biggest Carmaker. But VW Is Still Tops For Now

January 17, 2018, 1:31 PM UTC

Volkswagen (VLKAY) reported a 4.3% rise in 2017 sales to 10.7 million vehicles, staying ahead of Toyota in the race to keep the title of world’s biggest carmaker although Renault-Nissan (RNSDF) has forecast it would go top.

Last year’s sales by the German firm, which is still dealing with fallout from a scandal over rigged diesel emissions tests, were its highest ever, helped by strong gains in China, Europe and South America. Monthly sales in December rose 8.5%.

Japan’s Toyota Motor (TM) said last month it expected 2017 sales to grow 2% to 10.35 million units worldwide across its Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino brands. It said it would hit 10.50 million vehicles in 2018.

Read: VW Has an $82 Billion Plan to Be a Leader in Electric Cars

The Renault-Nissan alliance, which includes Mitsubishi Motors (MMTOF), has yet to release combined sales volume figures but Renault boss Carlos Ghosn said in July it was headed for the top spot.

In 2016, VW was No. 1 with 10.3 million vehicle sales, Toyota was second with 10.2 million and Renault-Nissan was third with 9.96 million.

VW said December 2017 China sales jumped 17.8% to 460,100 vehicles, while monthly sales in Europe rose 3.1%, driven by Germany. U.S. sales were down 5.2%.

Overall, carmakers saw European sales fall 4.8% in December from the same month a year ago due in part to one less working day, industry data showed on Wednesday.

VW has set aside about 25 billion euros ($30 billion) to cover fines, lawsuits and vehicle repairs related to the diesel scandal.