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Nissan alliance loses No. 1 sales spot

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Yomiuri ShimbunSales of new vehicles by the tripartite alliance of Nissan Motor Co., Renault SA of France and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. totaled 5.21 million units in the first half of 2019, down 6.1 percent from a year earlier.

The alliance therefore lost the No. 1 sales spot for the first time in three years, dropping to third place after Volkswagen AG of Germany and Toyota Motor Corp.

Nissan sales dropped significantly after it changed the sales expansion strategy led by former Chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Nissan, which had the largest sales among the three automakers, saw sales fall by 7.9 percent to 2.62 million units. Sales in its mainstay North American market fell by 9 percent.

The decline is mainly due to the weakening brand power resulting from Nissan’s strategy to increase sales at unreasonably low prices. Many of Nissan’s vehicles have been on the market for several years, so the company’s sales showed a year-on-year decline in all the main regions in the world.

Renault’s sales fell by 6.7 percent from a year earlier to 1.93 million units, due to sluggish sales mainly in France and China. In contrast, Mitsubishi’s sales rose by 5 percent on a year-on-year basis to 640,000 units due to the introduction of new models.

Volkswagen, which had been ranked second in terms of new vehicle sales during the first half of the previous year, rose to the top, with sales falling by 2.8 percent to 5.36 million units. Its sales in the Chinese market, which accounts for about 40 percent of global car sales, dropped by 3.9 percent to 1.91 million units due to China’s economic slowdown, but those in the United States and elsewhere increased.

The number of vehicles sold by Toyota, including sales of Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors, Ltd., rose by 2 percent to 5.31 million units, marking the third consecutive year of record first-half sales. As a result, Toyota moved to second, up from third in the first half of the previous year.

In the Chinese market, sales of Toyota’s Lexus were brisk and rose by 12.2 percent to 760,000 units. Domestic sales also increased by 4.1 percent as a result of brisk sales of new models.

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