Toyota continues to be the world’s largest car dealer and expands its lead at Volkswagen

Tokyo — Toyota Motor Corp. of Japan said on Friday that its vehicle sales increased 10.1 percent last year, making it the world’s largest automaker for the second year in a row, even surpassing its closest rival, Volkswagen AG in Germany.

According to the automaker, the number of vehicles sold in 2021 will be 10.5 million including affiliated companies Daihatsu Motors and Hino Motors.

That’s 5% less than in 2020, compared to Volkswagen’s 8.9 million units offered during the same period, the lowest sales in 10 years.

The shortage of semiconductors due to the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the supply chain and intensified competition for key components among consumer electronics manufacturers, forcing automakers to cut production.

However, Japanese companies have survived the pandemic more than most other automakers, as the domestic markets of Japan and parts of Asia are less affected than in Europe.

Toyota, which announced its third-quarter earnings on February 9, said the turmoil associated with COVID-19 could fall below its production target of 9 million units for the fiscal year ending March 31. ..