The Renault-Nissan Alliance has vaulted past the Volkswagen Group and Toyota to be the world’s number one automaker at the halfway point of this year.
To the end of June, the Franco-Japanese pairing sold 5,268,079 vehicles, ahead of the Volkswagen Group’s 5,155,600, and Toyota’s 5,129,000.
Although both Renault and Nissan, and their associated brands, posted healthy sales increases, it’s undoubtedly the inclusion of 494,303 Mitsubishi vehicles, which has catapulted the alliance into the number one spot.
Nissan bought a controlling 34 per cent stake in Mitsubishi Motors in October 2016, after the three-diamond brand plunged into crisis after it admitted falsifying domestic fuel economy figures for over a decade.
Sales of Mitsubishi passenger vehicles were up 2.4 per cent, thanks to the resumption of kei car sales in Japan, and the commencement of Outlander production in China.
Sales-wise, Nissan remains the dominant force in the alliance, accounting for 2,894,488 of the group’s figure. Sales were 5.6 per cent for the core Nissan brand, with Japan and Europe recording the biggest increases.
Infiniti managed to shift over 125,000 cars in the first half, up 13 per cent.
The Renault Group moved 1,879,288 Renault and Dacia cars in the first six months, up 10.4 per cent, with sales in the Asia-Pacific region up 50.5 per cent. Locally, Renault was up 1.1 per cent to 5593 sales.
Although the bad news from the Dieselgate still fills the pages of august publications such as the one you’re currently on, the Volkswagen Group managed to lift sales by 0.8 per cent to 5,155,600.
The core Volkswagen brand sold 2,935,100 passenger vehicles (up 0.3 per cent), and 249,800 commercial vehicles (up 5.0 percent). The only company marque to register a decrease was Audi, down 4.7 per cent to 909,000 cars.
Elsewhere, Skoda notched up 585,000 sales (up 2.8 per cent), Seat registered 246,500 cars (up 13.7 per cent), Porsche recorded 126,500 vehicles sold (up 7.2 per cent), MAN was up 6.9 per cent to 52,700, and Scania sold 43,600 trucks (up 8.2 per cent).
Every region bar Asia-Pacific saw sales increase. Notable improvements were registered in South America, up 11.4 per cent to 248,300, and the USA, up 7.2 per cent to 293,400.
The German and Chinese markets were down 1.0 and 1.9 per cent, respectively, to 678,600, and 1,826,000.
Although Toyota slipped down a spot into the final podium position, its sales were up 2.7 per cent to 5,129,000.
The Toyota and Lexus marques accounted for 4,622,000 of that number, up 2.4 per cent from the same time in the previous year.
Daihatsu was up 5.8 per cent to 419,000, and Hino shifted 88,000 trucks (up 4.3 per cent).
Although Japanese sales from the Toyota/Lexus division increased 10.2 per cent to 865,908, Lexus itself was down 22.5 per cent to 22,021.
Even without a drop in sales of 1.7 per cent to 4,686,038, the General would still have missed out on a podium finish.
The only brands to make improvements were North America-only GMC, up 4.1 per cent to 325,626; China-only economy car brand Baojun, up 19.0 per cent to 391,398; and Cadillac, which recorded an increase of 25.5 per cent to 164,031.
For Cadillac, big sales gains in China, helped to offset a slight decrease in the USA.
Elsewhere, Chevrolet sold 1,912,645 cars and trucks (down 1.0 per cent), Buick shifted 646,020 vehicles (down 4.4 per cent), Opel and Vauxhall recorded 608,684 sales (down 3.5 per cent), Holden was down 9.2 per cent to 49,245, and Chinese commercial vehicle marque Wuling slumped 16.5 per cent to 564,465 units sold.
All territories, except for South America (up 14.4 per cent to 308,099), recorded sales drops.
Earlier this year, GM announced its Chevrolet brand would exit the South African, East African and Indian markets by the end of the year.
At the Geneva motor show, GM and the PSA Group, owners of Peugeot, Citroen and DS, formally announced the French company’s purchase of Opel/Vauxhall from the American automaker. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2017.
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