The world’s largest automotive group in terms of sales is now the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which sold 10,608,366 passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in 2017. Now with Mitsubishi in the fold, the Alliance outdid the Volkswagen Group‘s 10.53 million units and Toyota‘s 10.2 million units.

The Alliance said that growing demand for SUVs, light commercial vehicles and a rising number of zero-emission pure electric vehicles helped lift unit sales by 6.5% last year, which was also the first full-year of Mitsubishi’s membership. In 2017, Alliance companies sold vehicles in nearly 200 countries under ten brands – Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Dacia, Renault Samsung Motors, Alpine, Lada, Infiniti, Venucia and Datsun.

“With more than 10.6 million passenger cars and light commercial vehicles sold in 2017, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi has become the number-one automotive group worldwide. This evolution reflects the breadth and depth of our model range, our global market presence and the customer appeal of our vehicle technologies,” said Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of the group.

Renault’s sales were up 8.5% to 3,761,634 units in 2017. It was a record year for the French brand, which is number two in Europe, and also its budget arm Dacia. Nissan sold 5,816,278 vehicles, up 4.6%. In the US and China, the Japanese carmaker achieved sales growth of 1.9% and 12.2% respectively. Luxury division Infiniti sold 246,492 units, a 7% increase.

New member Mitsubishi sold 1,030,454 vehicles in 2017, up 10% from 2016. The increase in volume was led by China, now MMC’s largest market. There, sales rose by 56% to 129,160 units thanks to strong demand for the locally produced Outlander SUV. Performance in the ASEAN region was also strong with an increase of 17% to 242,224 units, powered by the launch of the Xpander MPV in Indonesia. In Japan, sales increased by 7%.

Electrification and EVs are buzzwords today, but the Alliance was into battery-powered cars before they became fashionable. Since 2010, when the Nissan Leaf was first introduced, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi has sold 540,623 electric vehicles worldwide through its different brands. Cumulatively, the Alliance continues as the world leader for electric cars and light commercial EVs.

The second-gen Nissan Leaf went on sale in Japan late last year, and it will be rolled out in other markets throughout 2018, including Malaysia. The EV has received over 40,000 orders globally including 13,000 in Japan, 13,000 reservations in the US and over 12,000 orders from Europe. Over 300,000 Leafs have been sold since December 2010.

In 2017, Renault remained the leader in Europe’s EV sector with a market share of 23.8%, thanks to a sales jump of 38%. The Renault Zoe was the best-selling EV in the continent, with sales rising 44%. Since 2011, Renault has sold more than 150,000 EVs worldwide. Last year, the Alliance sold 91,000 EVs, up more than 11% from 2016.

As part of Alliance 2022 strategic plan, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi is forecasting that annual synergies will exceed 10 billion euros by the end of 2022. In addition, 12 new electric vehicles and 40 vehicles with autonomous drive technology will be launched. The introduction of new models and tech is expected to lift combined annual sales to more than 14 million units and revenues to $240 billion by the end the six-year plan, which is elaborated here.