Renault-Nissan chases third-placed GM in sales despite Nissan Q3 profits fall

February 10, 2017

The Renault-Nissan Alliance very nearly overtook General Motors (GM) to become one of the three biggest carmakers globally by sales in 2016. Both Renault and Nissan saw substantial sales gains year on year, and Mitsubishi, which the Alliance rescued last year, boosted the total by almost a million. 

In its 18th year, the Alliance came within touching distance of 10 million, selling 9.96 million vehicles globally. This was only 3891 cars and trucks short of GM’s total, and even only 350,000 units short of new worldwide leader Volkswagen Group. Nissan sold the lion’s share with 5.56 million units, up 2.5%, but Renault saw the biggest gains, up 13.3% to 3.12 million. 

Chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn said: The combination of Groupe Renault, Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors creates a new force in the global auto industry.’ 

However, Nissan’s Q3 operating profit declined 15% to ¥163.5 billion (€1.4 billion) year on year, due to a number of factors including higher marketing costs, a stronger yen, rising incentives and the sliding price of used cars in the US. Quarterly revenue fell 2.2% to ¥2.9 trillion (€24 billion), and net profit rose 3.5% to ¥131.7 billion (€1.1 billion). 

Nissan’s domestic sales improved on strong demand for the latest versions of its new Note compact hatchback and Serena van models launched last year. It also saw strong sales in North America from high demand for its Rogue SUV. Sales in China also grew healthily, but Nissan warned sales would slow these as tax breaks are cut for small-engine cars. 

Unlike Toyota and Honda, Nissan has left its full-year net profit forecast unchanged at ¥525.0 billion (€4.4 billion) and is still expecting to hit its operating profit of ¥710.0 billion (€5.9 billion). Nissan’s corporate vice president Joji Tagawa said that, unlike Honda and Toyota, Nissan did not revise its yen outlook downwards; Toyota and Honda boosted their profit targets when the yen fell sharply in November as Donald Trump won the US presidential election on the hopes of US stimulus and tax cuts. 

Mitsubishi contributed a little under 10% of the total, selling 934,013 vehicles, but this was down 13% year on year as confidence in the brand in Japan fell, and demand weakened in Brazil, Russia and the Middle East.  The Alliance counts the brand in its tally even though Nissan owns only 34% of the company. Ghosn took over as Nissan’s president in 1999, restoring the company to profitability and strengthening its alliance with Renault. Ghosn now expects to be able to achieve the same turnaround at Mitsubishi.

Also in News & Insights

UPDATE: News & Insights have moved to the Autovista Group website

March 31, 2017

Our regular automotive industry News & Insights are no longer being published on the Autovista Group Market Reports website.

Instead, you can now find the latest updates at our central Autovista Group website, home to our pan-European brands including Autovista, Eurotax, Glass's and Schwacke.

To stay up to date with rapidly changing market trends, we recommend signing up to our free Autovista Group Daily Brief which delivers our daily news stories directly to your inbox.

You can still find our in depth market reports here on the Autovista Group Market Reports site. Keep checking back as we have an exciting new report due to be launched shortly!

PSA to boost UK presence in the event of a ‘hard Brexit'

March 08, 2017

UK sales flat despite upcoming road tax hike, diesel demand plummets

March 08, 2017

UK new car registrations fell annually by 0.3% in February to 83,115 units according to the SMMT, driven down by weaker demand from individuals and companies. More noticeable, however, was the 9.2% drop in demand for diesels compared to February 2016, a steeper drop than the decline in Germany...