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TOKYO (dpa-AFX) – The Japanese auto giant Toyota (Toyota Motor) has reached the top position in global sales for the first time in five years, overtaking its rival Volkswagen (Volkswagen (VW) vz). As the Japanese industry leader announced on Thursday, the group, which also includes the small car specialist Daihatsu and the commercial vehicle manufacturer Hino Motors, sold 9.53 million vehicles worldwide last year. That is a decrease of 11.3 percent compared to the previous year. However, Toyota felt the effects of the corona pandemic less than other manufacturers. Thanks to a recovery in the two most important markets of China and the USA, Toyota picked up again: vehicle sales have risen again for three months in a row since October.
It was the first drop in sales for Toyota in five years after sales fell in the April to June quarter as a result of the Corona crisis. Ore rival VW (Volkswagen (VW) vz) even had to accept a drop in sales of 15.2 percent to 9.31 million vehicles last year. In addition to a recovery in China and the USA from autumn onwards, an aggressive sales strategy with a series of new models also contributed to the Toyota Group’s sales being solid compared to other corporations last year, it said. Toyota sold 2.16 million vehicles in Japan in 2020 and 7.37 million overseas. Globally, 9.21 million rolled off the production lines in the group’s factories, 14.1 percent less than in the previous year./ln/DP/jha