Toyota Motor Corp. group's global auto sales ranked top for a third consecutive year in 2022, exceeding Germany's Volkswagen AG as the Japanese carmaker managed to mitigate the impact of chip shortages that also affected its rivals, data showed Monday.
Toyota said it sold around 10.48 million vehicles globally last year, including those produced by the group's minivehicle maker Daihatsu Motor Co. and truck manufacturer Hino Motors Ltd., down 0.1 percent from a year earlier.
The Japanese auto giant said its global output increased 5.3 percent to 10.61 million units, as enhanced production capabilities in North America and Asia helped limit the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic and parts shortages.
Although Toyota's global auto sales dropped for the first time in two years, the volume was far ahead of rival Volkswagen, which saw its sales plunge 7.0 percent in 2022 to 8.26 million units due to supply chain disruptions.
Also hit by parts shortages, Honda Motor Co.'s worldwide output in the year declined 6.4 percent to 3.87 million units, while Nissan Motor Co.'s fell 9.4 percent to 3.25 million.
The Toyota group saw its global production expand for the second straight year after closely communicating with its suppliers, but the procurement of new vehicles has not caught up with demand, with sales still behind the record 10.74 million in 2019 before the pandemic.
"Becoming the top in sales volume is not our goal. We will continue to aim to be a company that is trusted in each region," a Toyota official said.
For Toyota alone, domestic output decreased 7.7 percent to 2.66 million units, its lowest level since 1976, affected significantly by the parts shortages, as many car models produced in Japan are equipped with advanced features and rely on many semiconductors.
Its domestic sales fell 12.7 percent to 1.29 million.
The automaker's overseas production climbed 11.7 percent to a record 6.38 million, while sales outside Japan grew 1.7 percent to 8.28 million, also a record, thanks to solid demand in Asia.
Toyota group's global sales for December 2022 were down 1.7 percent to 917,747, while total domestic and overseas output also fell 11.2 percent to 841,461.
The latest figures came after the carmaker announced Thursday that it will promote director Koji Sato to president effective April 1, replacing Akio Toyoda, who will become chairman.
Sato, who is more than a decade younger than Toyoda, is being elevated to the top job at a time when the company faces several challenges, including expanding its sales of greener vehicles and reaching its goals of reducing carbon emissions.
In 2022, the group sold some 2.73 million hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles, up 4.0 percent from the previous year.
Its sales of electric vehicles alone were up 69.8 percent but only reached a total of 24,466 units compared with Tesla Inc.'s 1.31 million and Volkswagen's sales of around 570,000.
Nissan, Renault agree to make mutual cross-shareholding equal