TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. sold 10.59 million vehicles globally last year, fewer than the 10.83 million delivered by German rival Volkswagen AG, the Japanese automaker said Wednesday.
Separately, Nissan Motor Co. said its global sales totaled 5.65 million vehicles last year, while Renault SA of France, which owns 43 percent of Nissan, recorded global sales of 3.9 million vehicles.
Nissan owns 34 percent of smaller Japanese rival Mitsubishi Motors Corp., which sold 1.2 million vehicles last year.
That adds up to 10.75 million vehicles, although that is not the official alliance tally.
The numbers released Wednesday underscore intense competition among the automakers.
U.S. automaker General Motors Co. was the No. 1 selling automaker for more than seven decades before losing the title to Toyota in 2008. Its sales have shrunk in recent years, and the Detroit-based automaker is no longer really a contender in what is turning out to be a three-way race.
Nissan, Japan’s second biggest automaker, has recently been rocked by a scandal, after the arrest in November of Carlos Ghosn, the executive sent in by Renault to lead Nissan for two decades.
The allegations against him center around financial misconduct, such as underreporting compensation from Nissan and having Nissan shoulder investment losses. Ghosn has said he is innocent.
Toyota’s vehicle sales last year were up 2 percent from 2017; while Nissan’s fell nearly 3 percent. Mitsubishi’s was up 18 percent on-year, and Renault’s sales were up 3 percen
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