Toyota remains world’s best-selling car manufacturer

Toyota bz4X front quarter tracking 2023

Toyota sold 24,466 electric cars in 2022, largely thanks to new bZ4X

Increase in global production volumes despite parts shortages has Japanese firm retake the top spot

Toyota sold 10,483,024 vehicles in 2022 as it defied a global production slump, maintaining its place as the world’s best-selling manufacturer.

The Japanese firm sold 9,566,961 Toyota and Lexus models, 766,091 Daihatsu microcars and 149,972 Hino trucks.

This was a slight (0.1%) reduction compared with 2021 levels and the first year-on-year decrease recorded by Toyota in two years.

Nonetheless, it was sufficient for Toyota to remain the world’s top car maker, ahead of the Volkswagen Group, which made 8.3 million sales.

Although the Toyota brand’s Japanese-market sales dropped significantly (by 12.7% to 1,289,132) for the third year running, a 1.7% improvement in sales abroad (to 8,277,829) limited the overall dip to 0.5%.

Of note was the fact that Toyota sold more battery-electric cars in December 2022 than in all of 2020: 5897 compared with 3346. It sold 24,466 in 2022, up 69.8% year-on year. This was likely a result of the launch of the bZ4X SUV, the company’s first mass-market BEV.

In contrast, sales of the hydrogen fuel cell Toyota Mirai fell by a third to 3924. The slump was especially pronounced in Japan, where just 848 examples were sold last year – a 65.3% reduction compared with 2021.

The company’s production outstripped its sales last year, as 10.6 million Daihatsu, Hino, Lexus and Toyota vehicles were produced, a 5.3% increase over 2021. 

Japanese manufacturing was down across the board, as output totalled 3,653,012 vehicles – a 6.2% reduction compared with 2021. This was offset by a significant increase in non-Japan production, up 12.5% to 6,957,592.

This was thanks to significantly increased capacity in North America and Asia, as well as the ongoing recovery from global parts shortages, said Toyota.

However, the company also warned that December’s global production levels were down 11.2% year on year to 841,461, because of parts shortages caused by Covid. Increased demand for semiconductors was also blamed.

The volatility of the chip shortage and the evolving situation with Covid – which has worsened in China since restrictions were lifted there in December – makes the situation difficult to predict, according to Toyota.

Source: Autocar

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