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Toyota Posts 10% Sales Rise, Lengthening Gap with VW

The Japanese company said sales totalled 10.5 million vehicles in 2021, including those by its affiliates, Daihatsu Motors and Hino Motors

Japan factory output
Monday's data showed output of cars and other motor vehicles slumped 17% from the previous month in January, falling for the first time in four months and pulling down the headline output figure by nearly 2.7 percentage points. Photo: AFP.


Toyota Motor said on Friday its vehicle sales rose by 10.1% last year, making it the world’s biggest carmaker for a second straight year and putting it further ahead of its nearest rival, Germany’s Volkswagen.

The Japanese company said sales totalled 10.5 million vehicles in 2021, including those by affiliates Daihatsu Motors and Hino Motors.

That compares with 8.9 million delivered by Volkswagen in the same period, 5% fewer than in 2020 and its lowest sales figures in 10 years.

Carmakers have been forced to cut output because a shortage of semiconductors during the coronavirus pandemic disrupted supply chains, boosting competition for the key component among makers of consumer electronic devices.

However, the Japanese company has weathered the pandemic better than most other carmakers because its home market and parts of Asia, have been less affected than Europe.

Toyota, which releases third-quarter earnings on February 9, has said it is likely to fall short of a production target of 9 million vehicles in the business year that ends on March 31 because of disruptions linked to Covid-19.

On Wednesday, Toyota said shortages affected 20 out of its 28 domestic Japanese plants this month.

“As the parts scheduled to be used during the January suspension can now be used in February, some plants and lines originally scheduled to be suspended in the month will now operate,” the company said.

“We will continue to make our maximum efforts to deliver as many vehicles as possible to our customers at the earliest possible date.”


  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell



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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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