For a fifth consecutive year, the global automotive sales chart was led in 2018 by the Volkswagen Group. Between January and December of last year, the Group’s brands sold a total of 10.83 million units, representing an increase of 0.9% over 2017.
Close behind, trailing by only 70,000 units, was the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Alliance. The combined sales of those three manufacturers totaled 10.76 million units in 2018, and that performance should ease some of the pain being felt over the arrest of the Alliance’s head, Carlos Ghosn.
That said, the Nissan division will need to take a close look at its 2018 performance; the company saw its sales fall by 2.8%, and without that decrease the Alliance would have beaten the VW Group to the top of the sales ranking. For their part, both Renault and Mitsubishi posted sales increases last year, of 3.2% and 18% respectively. (Read our recent report on Mitsubishi posting record sales in Canada in 2018).
In third place for global sales in 2018 was Toyota, with 10.39 million units sold; this figure includes sales of Lexus vehicles.
The year’s big loser, in contrast, was former number-one General Motors, which saw its global sales drop by over 1 million units and now finds itself in fourth place. It will publishing official sales figures at a later date, but analysts are predicting a total of around 8.4 million units.
2019 is shaping up as a tough three-way battle between the top three automotive giants, with GM forced off the podium once again.
Brands of the Volkswagen Group: Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Bentley, Skoda, SEAT