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The top car-maker throne is up for grabs, and it‘s a 3-way race

(FinancialPress) —  The world‘s top automakers ran a tight race over 2017, with their latest public figures showing that they were mostly neck-and-neck through the year.

The conglomerate formed by  Renault (RNLSY), Nissan (NSANF) and Mitsubishi (MBFJF) claimed the top spot, boasting 10.61 million vehicles sold over the year – a full 6.5% more than in 2016.

Second place was claimed by Volkswagen Group, (VLKAY) – which grew its sales 4% YoY for a total of 10.53 million units sold. The 2016 leader‘s sales include those of Porsche, Audi and Skoda – all owned by the same company.

Toyota (TM) dropped from #2 in 2016 to #3 in 2017 – with 10.39 million units sold for a 2% growth in volume from the prior year.

The same data shows Mitsubishi‘s first full sales year after partnering up with Renault-Nissan in the wake of an emission testing scandal. The partnership seems to have worked, as the brand‘s sales went up a full 50% in China over the year – thus making the world‘s second biggest economy the largest market for the formerly-embattled automaker.

China has become the biggest benchmark for automakers‘ sales performances – as the U.S. and Europe experience stagnant growth.

VW‘s shipments to the region grew 5% versus just 1% for Western Europe.

General Motors – the historical carmaker leader in the U.S. — will unveil its 2017 results in February.

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