Accused of financial misdeeds, Carlos Ghosn sits in a Tokyo jailhouse while the global alliance he built is on top of the world.
The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance sold 10.76 million cars and light commercial vehicles globally last year, according to Reuters' calculations. That outpaces Volkswagen Group and Toyota Motor Corp. if heavy-truck sales are excluded from their sales results.
Ghosn spearheaded the 2016 acquisition of Mitsubishi that lifted the alliance into the No. 1 sales position in 2017.
Last year, VW Group registrations rose 0.9 percent to 10.83 million, including its MAN and Scania heavy trucks, the company said in January. Excluding heavy trucks, it sold 10.6 million vehicles.
Toyota said it sold 10.59 million vehicles last year, including its Toyota and Lexus brands, minicars made by subsidiary Daihatsu and light and heavy trucks produced by truck division Hino Motors. Excluding Hino trucks, Toyota sold 10.39 million.
Nissan said it sold 5.65 million vehicles last year, down 2.8 percent. Mitsubishi reported an 18 percent rise in to 1.22 million vehicles, while Renault sold 3.88 million, up 3.2 percent. The alliance does not sell heavy trucks.
Ghosn, who was chairman of the tripartite, stepped down as chairman and CEO of Renault in late January, two months after Nissan stripped him of his roles. While Renault and Nissan repeatedly say they are committed to the partnership, Nissan has long been unhappy about what it considers to be an outsize French role in the alliance. Renault owns about 43 percent of Nissan with voting rights; Nissan has a 15 percent nonvoting stake in Renault.
In a jailhouse interview last week, Ghosn said his detention in Japan on allegations of financial misconduct is the result of "plot and treason" by Nissan executives opposed to his plan for deeper integration with Renault.