The Toyota Motor Corp. group ranked top in global auto sales in 2021, overtaking Germany's Volkswagen AG for the second consecutive year, on robust sales in China and the United States despite a global chip shortage, data showed Friday.

Toyota said it sold nearly 10.5 million vehicles globally last year, including those produced by the group's minivehicle maker Daihatsu Motor Co. and truck manufacturer Hino Motors Ltd., up 10.1 percent from a year earlier.

But the Japanese auto giant has struggled to return to normal production levels as it continues to face supply chain constraints due to the spread of COVID-19 in Southeast Asia, announcing a temporary closure of domestic factories earlier this month.

Its sales bounced back from an 11.3 percent decline in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and only fell short of its record sales in 2019 by 250,000 vehicles.

Rival Volkswagen's global sales fell 4.5 percent last year to 8.88 million vehicles due to the global chip crunch.

In 2021, the Toyota group sold 2.11 million vehicles including minicars in Japan, down 2.2 percent from the year before, while global sales rose 13.8 percent to 8.39 million units.

Toyota alone sold 9.62 million vehicles globally, up 10.6 percent, while its production fell 1.5 percent from a year earlier to 2.88 million units.

Its global sales in December declined 7.0 percent from the same month in the previous year, while output fell 6.0 percent.

The combined global auto sales of Japan's eight major automakers climbed 6.1 percent to 24.92 million vehicles, with all manufacturers bar Subaru Corp. posting a climb in numbers. However, none were able to meet pre-pandemic levels.

The total sales of Honda Motor Co. grew 0.7 percent to 4.49 million vehicles, while Nissan Motor Co. inched up 0.9 percent to 4.07 million units.

The manufacturers also posted growth in global production, but the numbers again failed to meet pre-pandemic levels.