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Toyota tops global auto sales in 2021 for 2nd year in row

Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda speaks in front of some of the new fully electric models during a press conference on Dec. 14, 2021, in Tokyo. (Mainichi/Yohei Koide)

LONDON (Kyodo) -- Toyota Motor Corp. ranked top in global auto sales in 2021, beating Volkswagen AG of Germany for the second consecutive year amid an easing of the parts supply crunch in Southeast Asia, data showed Wednesday.

    Volkswagen said the same day its global sales last year fell 4.5 percent to 8.88 million vehicles, lower than the 9.56 million vehicles sold worldwide by Toyota between January and November 2021.

    Toyota's sales include those sold by its group's minivehicle maker Daihatsu Motor Co. and truck manufacturer Hino Motors Ltd.

    Disruptions to the parts supply chain due to the coronavirus pandemic did not hit the Japanese automaker as hard as other carmakers like Volkswagen, which was forced to curb production in response to global shortages of chips.

    Volkswagen's sales in its home market of Western Europe declined 2.7 percent to 2.86 million units, while sales in its main market of China fell by 14.1 percent to 3.30 million units. The result includes products sold under the Audi and Porsche brands.

    Meanwhile, sales of electric vehicles almost doubled to 452,900 units, while plug-in hybrid electric vehicles increased by around 60 percent to 309,500 units.

    An official of Volkswagen said that while the company achieved satisfactory sales under the circumstances, it was not enough to offset the impact of the chip crunch.

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