Toyota Motor has beaten Volkswagen by around 220,000 units in the global sales race for 2020.
Group global sales, including Toyota/Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino, totalled 9,528,438 units, down 11.3%, the automaker said. Domestic Japan volume fell 7.8% to 2,156,738 while exports and local production overseas accounted for 7,371,700 vehicles, down 12.3%.
Toyota and Lexus alone accounted for 8,692,168 global deliveries, down 10.5%.
“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been spreading since the beginning of 2020, Toyota was able to continue corporate activities through comprehensive implementation of various infection prevention measures, and by working together with partners including suppliers and dealers,” the automaker said in a statement. “[We were able] to limit the decline in sales to just 10.5% year-on-year and maintain domestic production at the 3m unit level.”
Volkswagen Group sold 9,305,400 vehicles worldwide last year, a decrease of 15.2% year-on-year due to COVID-19, it said in a statement earlier this month. The tally, like Toyota’s included VW Commercial Vehicles and MAN and Scania heavy trucks.
“The COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 an extremely challenging year,” said group sales chief Christian Dahlheim. “The [group] performed well in this environment and strengthened its market position. We will keep up the momentum this year, adding many more attractive electric models.”
Toyota said its global production in 2020 was down 12.6% year on year to 7,909,488 worldwide but China output rose 9.5%.
December global production was up 14.4%, the fourth consecutive monthly increase, driven primarily by North America, Japan, China, and Europe.
The global ratio of electrified vehicle sales increased from approximately 20% in 2019 to approximately 23% in 2020. The increase was driven primarily by sales in Europe, China, and North America.
The best selling Toyota vehicle from January to December was the RAV4, with global sales of 994,000 units (up 2.9%).
This was due to strong sales in North America, the primary market, as well as in China, which had sales of 175,000 units (up 37.9%).
2020 was the first year in five since Toyota last beat VW.
“Our focus is not on what our ranking may be, but on serving our customers,” a Toyota spokeswoman told Reuters.