The alliance of Nissan Motor Co., Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. lost its lead in global auto sales in the first half of 2019, coming behind Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Corp.
The three-way alliance had the most sales worldwide in the first half of 2017 and 2018 but fell short of two of its rivals this year, selling a combined 5.21 million vehicles in the January-June period, 5.9 percent less than a year earlier.
The figures come as Nissan announced it is cutting 12,500 jobs, marking an end to former Chairman Carlos Ghosn’s expansionary strategy.
Germany’s Volkswagen, which was the world’s biggest automaker by sales in the whole of 2018, sold 5.37 million vehicles, down 2.8 percent, in the January-June period. The figure includes products sold under the Audi and Porsche brands.
Toyota and its subsidiaries, including Daihatsu Motor Co. and truck maker Hino Motors Ltd., sold a combined 5.31 million vehicles, up 2.0 percent to set a new record for the third consecutive year.
Nissan alone sold 2.63 million vehicles, down 7.9 percent, while France’s Renault sold 1.94 million , down 6.7 percent. Mitsubishi Motors sold 647,422 , up 5.0 percent.
Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa told a news conference last week that the job cuts, which will take place over the next three years, are “a major revision of the investments we have made in the past.”