Tokyo - The Renault Nissan alliance has taken over from Volkswagen Group as the world's biggest car company in sales volume.

It's the first time the French-Japanese coalition, which includes new member Mitsubishi, has topped the global sales ranking.

In the first six months of 2017 Renault Nissan sold 5.27 million vehicles around the world, beating VW's 5.15 million and Toyota's 5.13 million. General Motors, formerly the world's biggest automaker, was in fourth place with 4.7 million vehicles sold during this period.

Last year the VW Group, which includes the Audi and Lamborghini brands, became the world's top selling automaker for the first time, but if Renault Nissan maintains its performance it could take over the title at the end of the year. Renault Nissan's numbers are up due to its purchase of Mitsubushi last year, which added nearly half a million vehicle sales to the total.

Volkswagen dethroned Toyota in 2016 as the world's top selling automaker after four straight years of dominance by the Japanese brand. General Motors last topped the sales charts in 2011.

Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of the Renault-Nissan alliance, said the automaker will continue to build on its record sales. Among the models the alliance offers are the X-Trail, Altima and Qashqai, as well as the Leaf electric car.

Renault Nissan worldwide sales figures for the first six months of 2017:

Renault (including Dacia): 1 879 288 units
Nissan: 2 894 488 units
Infiniti: 125 000 units
Mitsubishi: 494 303 units

IOL Motoring

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