The global sales race has taken a new turn. Last year's leader, Volkswagen, has slid down to third and passing them in worldwide sales is the Renault-Nissan Alliance, now making them the world's second largest automaker as of the first quarter of 2017. Toyota meanwhile reclaims their top spot.

Renault-Nissan Alliance was poised to enter top three with the addition of Mitsubishi Motors in their product portfolio. The Alliance was just less than 4,000 units away from taking third away from General Motors late last year and has leapfrogged ahead of the American manufacturer.

Back in February, Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn said that they aim to be the world's third biggest automaker. With Volkswagen Auto Group sales down and General Motors losing momentum, Renault-Nissan Alliance jumps two spots, putting them less than 100,000 units away from the current leader, Toyota. Forbes reported that, should this trend continue, Renault-Nissan Alliance will end 2017 with nearly 10.5 million cars sold worldwide.

As of April 2017, Toyota grew by 7.8 percent with 3,526,343 units sold so far. Renault-Nissan Alliance meanwhile went up by 7.4 percent with a total of 3,471,808 units. Down 0.7 percent is the Volkswagen Auto Group with 3,336,202 units sold in the first four months of the year. Despite lower total sales for the first quarter, Volkswagen still sold more vehicles that Toyota and Renault-Nissan for the month of April.

Last month, Volkswagen sold 841,200 vehicles worldwide, over 20,000 more than both Toyota and Renault-Nissan. The Japanese automakers sold 819,092 and 813,448 units respectively. Among the three however, only Toyota showed an increase of sales year on year, up by 8.7 percent when compared to last year's figures. Renault-Nissan posted fewer sales for the month of April this year than in 2016, down by 0.9 percent. Volkswagen on the other hand is down by 1.4 percent compared to April 2016.