Business / Corporate

Renault-Nissan group grabs top spot in first-half global auto sales

Kyodo, AFP-JIJI

The Renault-Nissan alliance retained their crown as the world’s largest auto seller in the January to June period for a second consecutive year, outselling major rivals Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Corp.

The alliance formed by Renault SA, Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. sold 5.54 million vehicles worldwide in the first six months of 2018, up 5 percent from the same period last year.

The figure outpaced the 5.52 million vehicles sold over the same period by the Volkswagen group, which grabbed the overall top spot in global sales for the second straight year in 2017. The group includes the Audi and Porsche brands.

Renault saw robust sales growth in the first half with a 9.8 percent rise to 2.07 million vehicles, while Mitsubishi Motors’ worldwide sales climbed 24.8 percent to 616,650 units.

Those figures more than offset a 1.4 percent fall in Nissan’s sales to 2.85 million vehicles, primarily due to a sluggish performance in the U.S.

Under the three-way alliance, Renault holds a 43.4 percent stake in Nissan, which owns a 15 percent stake in Renault and 34 percent in Mitsubishi Motors. Carlos Ghosn, who is the CEO of both Renault and Nissan, heads the alliance.

“The group posted new record results for a first half-year in a volatile economic environment,” a statement issued by Renault in Paris quoted Ghosn as saying.

Toyota said Friday the company and its group automakers posted record global auto sales in the first half, but the figure was behind Volkswagen’s.

Toyota said its group, which includes Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors Ltd., sold 5.2 million vehicles worldwide in the January-June period, up 1.6 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Toyota’s overseas sales in the first six months rose 3.6 percent to 4.04 million units, backed by strong demand in the Chinese and European markets. But its domestic sales fell 4.8 percent to about 1.17 million vehicles.