• Kyodo


The alliance of Nissan Motor Co., Renault SA of France and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. remained in second place in terms of global auto sales in 2018, totaling 10.75 million units, data showed Wednesday.

The alliance, whose former boss Carlos Ghosn was arrested more than two months ago, finished behind Volkswagen AG of Germany for the second straight year, with a 1.4 percent year-on-year increase in worldwide unit sales, according to data released by the automakers.

Volkswagen kept the top spot for the third consecutive year with 10.83 million units, up 0.9 percent from a year before, while the Toyota Motor Corp. group, including minicar maker Daihatsu Motor Co. and truck maker Hino Motors Ltd., came third with a record-high 10.59 million units, up 2.0 percent, according to the automakers.

While Nissan’s sales were lower than the previous year’s due to weaker demand for its vehicles in its mainstay North American market, those of the Japanese-French alliance as a whole grew thanks to a sharp rise in Mitsubishi’s sales in Southeast Asia and robust sales of Renault in Russia and Brazil, the data showed.

Despite the solid business results, the three-way alliance has been reeling from the arrest in November of Ghosn by Japanese prosecutors over his alleged financial misdeeds at Nissan.

Although General Motors Co. has yet to release its annual sales figures, the U.S. automaker is believed to have been outperformed by the Toyota group.

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