Toyota Motor Corp. remained the world's best-selling automaker with a record 5.47 million vehicles sold in the first six months of 2021, outpacing German archrival Volkswagen AG, the Japanese company's data showed Thursday.

It is the second year in a row that Toyota has been the world's top automaker in the first half, underscoring its sharp recovery from the initial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and relative resilience despite a global chip crunch.

Toyota's previous record sales for the first half of a year was set in 2019 with about 5.31 million vehicles sold globally.

Toyota has enjoyed robust sales in its key markets such as the United States and China. A Toyota official said the automaker has been able to "limit" the impact of the global semiconductor shortage.

In the January-June period, Toyota sold 5,467,218 vehicles globally, up 31.3 percent from a year earlier. The figure includes those sold by its minivehicle-manufacturing subsidiary Daihatsu Motor Co. and truck maker Hino Motors Ltd.

Volkswagen sold 4,978,200 vehicles in the same period, up 27.9 percent from a year earlier.

In the six months through June, strong demand for new models in North America and China lifted Toyota's overseas sales to a record 4.3 million vehicles, a 36.5 percent year-on-year jump.

In Japan, the manufacturer of the Harrier SUV and Yaris compact car reported a 15.0 percent increase in sales to 1.17 million vehicles, including minicars with engines of up to 660 cc, Toyota said.

In the whole of 2020, Toyota reclaimed its crown as the top-selling automaker from Volkswagen for the first time in five years.

Among other Japanese automakers, Honda Motor Co. sold 2.37 million vehicles in the six-month period, up 25.8 percent from a year earlier, while Nissan Motor Co. reported its first year-on-year global sales growth in four years with 2.20 million vehicles, up 21.5 percent.

The global shortage of chips has forced automakers including Toyota and Volkswagen to curb production, casting a shadow over the auto industry. The pandemic has been boosting demand for semiconductors, used in a variety of products from laptops and game consoles to cars.