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Toyota overtakes Volkswagen as world’s largest automaker 2020

*Despite the disruptive Coronavirus pandemic worldwide, Toyota sold 9.5 million vehicles worldwide last year

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

Toyota is, once again, the world’s largest automaker, having sold 9.5 million vehicles globally in the past year.

It was gathered for five consecutive years, the Japanese automaker lost the title of best-selling automaker to its German rival Volkswagen.

However, the company said Thursday, January 28 that it topped Volkswagen’s sales in 2020 despite the damaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the global economy.

The pandemic had a major impact on the auto industry as a whole, but Toyota ended up coming out ahead, agency report said.

The Toyota group, which owns Daihatsu and Hino subsidiaries, said it sold 9.5 million vehicles last year, the figure which was slightly more than Volkwagen that sold 9.3 million vehicles.

According to report, Volkswagen, which owns brands that include Audi, Skoda and Porsche, was hit harder by pandemic-related disruptions in sales.

The company’s passenger car sales in Europe fell 24 percent last year to fewer than 10 million units, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

However, Volkswagen recently said that profits for 2020 hit $12 billion, suggesting a recovery in the second half of the year.

On the other hand, Toyota has a larger US presence, compared to Volkswagen, and U.S. residents weren’t on lockdown as often as consumers were in Europe.

Chisato Yoshifuji, Toyota Spokeswoman, said the company was able to stave off pandemic-related financial losses due to virus-control measures.

 

Yoshifuji said: “Naturally, the number of units sold was lower than in the previous year because of the spread of Coronavirus.

“But because Toyota and its partners were able to thoroughly implement measures to combat the spread of the virus, we were able to continue our corporate activities and keep yearly declines at the level they were.”

Although it fared well in 2020, industry analysts say Toyota will have to continue dealing with a global chip shortage that has prompted automakers to close factories and furlough workers.

Analyst Yoshiaki Kawano, nonetheless, expects Toyota to “put up a good fight” in the coming year by putting out more electric vehicles and SUVs.

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