Ghosn Says Nissan's Alliance Makes It the Biggest Dog in the Auto Yard

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Despite Volkswagen delivering an impressive 10.74 million vehicles in 2017, Nissan-Renault Alliance head Carlos Ghosn says his automotive group was actually the top sales dog. VW managed a 4.3-percent increase over last year’s volume and set a new record for itself, but Ghosn argues that doesn’t matter if it’s counting heavy truck sales in its total sum.

“The [Renault-Nissan] alliance, with more than 10.6 million light private and commercial vehicles sold in 2017, is the premier global automobile group,” the CEO told a parliamentary committee hearing in Paris.

“That has just been confirmed after Volkswagen this morning announced its sales of 10.74 million, including 200,000 heavy trucks, which we do not include in our statistics,” Ghosn explained, before adding “there can be no further discussion.”

While the CEO’s savage burn on Volkswagen is accurate, had the alliance included heavy trucks as part of its final tally, the auto group wouldn’t be quite as smug. Renault sold its heavy trucking business off years ago and, after changing hands a few times, it is currently owned by Volvo.

However, even without the inclusion of trucks, it was a close race and largely dependent upon Nissan-Renault’s acquisition of Mitsubishi Motors. Meanwhile, Toyota Motor Corp said it expected 2017 sales to grow by 2 percent last month for a grand total of 10.35 million units worldwide between its many brands. It’s anticipating an expanded volume of 10.5 million vehicles for 2018.

[Source: Reuters] [Image: Nissan]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • JMII JMII on Jan 18, 2018

    If they are so big why does he keep trying to merge/partner up with another maker? I own 2 Nissans which I love. These vehicle aren't junk and I'm not a subprime buyer either. However since Nissan doesn't make the Camry or Golf they should just give up and shut down I guess.

  • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Jan 18, 2018

    "The [Renault-Nissan] alliance, with more than 10.6 million light private and commercial vehicles sold in 2017..." So, commercial sales are okay if they're your commercial sales. In other words, you sold more Altimas than any other midsize cars to rental fleets, and that is acceptable, but VAG selling big trucks to companies shouldn't count. In that case, lets twist this and subtract that but add this and not that, so the Toyota 86 is the best selling car in the world. Brilliant.

  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Jan 18, 2018

    Mr. Ghosn looks very "gangsta" in that picture.

  • Flipper35 Flipper35 on Jan 19, 2018

    I was thinking he just yelled at Clouseau.

    • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Jan 19, 2018

      Dreyfus: The beggar was the lookout man for the gang. Clouseau: That is impossible. Dreyfus: Why? Clouseau: He was blind. How can a blind man be a lookout? Dreyfus: How can an idiot be a policeman? Answer me that! Clouseau: It's very simple, all he has to do is enlist... Dreyfus: Shut up!