By the end of the first quarter of the year, the Renault-Nissan Alliance had shot up to third in the global sales race. The strong sales in Asia, plus the recent acquisition of Mitsubishi, helped overtake the Detroit Big Three of General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Now, Chairman Carlos Ghosn reckons that the company will become the global sales leader by mid-year.
"We have been among the top three carmakers since January in sales volume, and we expect to be in the top spot by midyear, although this was not our goal," said Ghosn during the most recent Renault shareholders meeting. That said, the Alliance is about 40,000 units shy of surpassing Toyota Motor Corporation and nearly 300,000 cars away from the current leader, Volkswagen Auto Group.
Based on the figures by JATO Dynamics, Volkswagen Auto Group saw a total of 3,322,262 registrations from January 2017 to April 2017. On the other hand, Toyota Motor Corporation saw 3,062,349 registrations while close behind is Renault-Nissan Alliance with 3,022,357 new registrations.
The Alliance's rise to the top three was also helped by the growth of key marques. In JATO Dynamics' data, Mitsubishi Motors grew by five percent in the first quarter of the year. Nissan and Dacia on the other hand both gained seven percent. Renault meanwhile rose by a significant ten percent, but making the biggest gains for the Alliance is the Infiniti luxury division and the Renault sub-brand of Samsung. The two brands saw sales pick up by twenty four percent and thirty eight percent respectively. Should this trend continue, it is likely that Ghosn's prediction might come true.
The brands under the Alliance see several new models coming this year. For Renault, the C-segment Megane range is slowly being expanded, as well as the lineups of the A-segment Twingo and B-segment Clio. Also, the all-new Koleos C-segment crossover has entered the European markets as well as other parts of the world where Renaults are available. Over at Nissan, the Qashqai gets an update with the X-Trail having been recently refreshed as well. All-new this year will be the Leaf, the brand's electric vehicle. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi will see a new addition to the range with the Expander, a B-segment MPV-crossover to be sold in the ASEAN region, as well as parts of Europe. Also, the Eclipse crossover is being offered in Europe as well.