The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has announced that its member companies sold a combined 10,756,875 vehicles in 2018. With that, the Alliance has maintained its number one position in global sales of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs).

If one includes heavy trucks, the Volkswagen Group, which has MAN and Scania brands, is the top automaker with 10.83 million units sold. Without the heavy trucks, the German giant sold 10.6 million cars and LCVs, which puts it in second behind the Franco-Japanese alliance. In third place is Toyota, which sold 10.39 million units of cars and LCVs (or 10.59 million units including Hino trucks).

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi’s 2018 tally is 1.4% higher than in 2017, and strong sellers include the Renault Clio, Captur and Dacia/Renault Sandero; the Nissan X-Trail (a.k.a. Rogue) and Sentra/Sylphy; and Mitsubishi’s Eclipse Cross and Xpander.

Of the member companies, Groupe Renault’s sales were up 3.2% to 3,884,295 units in the previous calendar year. Nissan sold 5,653,683 units worldwide, down 2.8%, while Mitsubishi Motors sold 1,218,897 units, up 18.3% year-over-year.

Sales of more vehicles utilising the Common Module Family (CMF) architecture – a key pillar of the Alliance 2022 mid-term plan – also increased pace last year. This included inaugural sales of the Renault Kwid in more international markets along with increased production of the Nissan Frontier pick-up truck, which shares architecture with Renault and Mercedes-Benz models.

The companies say that they saw particularly strong demand for light commercial vehicles (up 13.5% to two million), with improved sales of the Renault Kangoo, Master and Trafic; the Nissan Navara and Terra; and the Mitsubishi Triton. A core part of the Alliance strategy is to maximise synergies through cross-development and cross-manufacturing to increase sales and market presence of member-company LCVs around the world.

As part of the Alliance 2022 mid-term plan, the companies are continuing to forecast that annual synergies will exceed 10 billion euros by the end of 2022. Member carmakers will also increase commonality, targeting nine million units based on four common platforms.

The plan will also extend the use of common powertrains to 75% of total sales. In addition, 12 new EVs will be launched during the plan, and 40 vehicles will be introduced with different levels of self-driving autonomy. A detailed look at the Alliance 2022 six-year plan here.