Very likely this year, we should be in the top three
Volkswagen is currently in third place, with 6,290,000 units built in 2009. Nissan was in eigth place last year with 2,744,562 units (down 19 percent), while Renault came in tenth with 2,309,188 units (down 4.5 percent). Combined, the two firms accounted for 5,053,750 units, or about 1.2 billion units fewer than VW’s third-place showing (and only a few hundred thousand better than Ford, in fourth place).
With VW enjoying strong growth in China, and less dependent on volatile mature markets than Renault-Nissan, that will be a tough goal to deliver on. But thanks to a new partnership with AvtoVAZ, Ghosn thinks Nissan-Renault will hit 7m units this year. Even if it does though, VAZ’s financial woes and embroilment with the Russian state may cause more headaches than its incremental, low-volume Russian-market sales are worth. As history teaches, there’s more to the global auto game than pure volume.