Toyota Motor Corp. group is set to lead global auto sales in the first half of 2022, topping the list ahead of German rival Volkswagen AG for the third straight year, amid a global chip shortage and COVID-19 lockdowns in China, industry data showed Thursday.
The Japanese automaker said it sold roughly 5.14 million vehicles globally in the reporting period, including those sold by the group’s minivehicle maker Daihatsu Motor Co. and truck manufacturer Hino Motors Ltd., down 6.0 percent from a year earlier, marking the first drop in two years.
The fall in sales stemmed from reduced global output, which declined 3.8 percent to 5.10 million units, also shrinking for the first time in two years, although it managed to limit the impact of the semiconductor shortage that has dealt a blow to automakers worldwide.
Toyota’s global sales surpassed that of rival Volkswagen, whose global sales plunged 22.2 percent to 3.88 million vehicles in the reporting period.
“Sales volume has never been our top priority,” a Toyota official said after the release of its results. “We will continue to prioritize safety and quality and strive to make better cars.”
Impacted largely by the parts shortage, Toyota’s domestic sales plunged 18.1 percent to 954,173 units, with domestic output shedding 17.7 percent to 1.74 million units, as many cars produced in Japan incorporate cutting-edge componentry that relies on semiconductors.
Overseas sales dropped 2.8 percent to 4.18 million vehicles, but overseas production grew 5.6 percent to 3.35 million units, registering a record high for the first half-year period thanks to expanded production capacity in China.
The automaker’s global sales in June, excluding those of Daihatsu and Hino, fell 3.2 percent from a year earlier to 817,321 units. Its global production dropped 4.6 percent to 793,378 cars.