In year ravaged by Coronavirus deaths and a seemingly endless series of lockdowns and easings, Toyota Motor Corporation has emerged as the world’s number one car maker, beating out long-term rival the Volkswagen Group.

    Both firms suffered big drops almost everywhere, but the key to Toyota’s victory was its ability to grow sales in China; where Volkswagen went backwards.

    Toyota Motor Corp9,386,145-11.1%
    Volkswagen Group9,115,200-15.1%
    Toyota claims 2020 global sales crown

    Toyota Motor Corporation sold 9,386,145 passenger cars in 2020, down 11.1 per cent from 10,552,243 the year before.

    Toyota registered 7,973,453 vehicle sales, a drop of 11.0 per cent, while Lexus notched up 718,715 sales, a fall of 6.1 per cent.

    Small car specialist Daihatsu (693,977) (which mainly operates in Japan and Indonesia) saw the biggest fall, down 17.2 per cent.

    The Hino division sold 142,293 trucks in 2020, a decrease of 25.1 per cent. Other publications may include the truck maker’s numbers in Toyota’s final tally.

    Due to their successful containment of the Coronavirus, Toyota saw sales increases in China, up 10.9 per cent to 1,797,487, and Taiwan, up 6.6 per cent to 146,251.

    Aside from China, the company’s largest markets were the USA (2,112,941 – down 11.3 per cent), Japan (1,504,221 – a drop of 6.6 per cent), and Europe (961,699 – down 8.5 per cent).

    The Volkswagen Group sold 9,115,200 vehicles across its eight car brands, a fall of 15.1 per cent.

    Volkswagen itself was down 15.1 per cent to 5,328,000, while the Volkswagen commercial vehicles was off 24.4 per cent to 371,700.

    Among the mainstream brands Skoda saw a 19.1 per cent drop to 1,004,800, and Seat fell 25.6 per cent to 427,000.

    The money-spinning luxury brands fared better with Audi down 8.3 per cent to 1,692,800, and Porsche off just 3.1 per cent to 272,200.

    Grouped together, the superluxury marques — Bugatti, Bentley and Lamborghini — fell 3.0 per cent to 18,700.

    Although we’ve excluded them from our tally, the MAN and Scania truck brands notched up a further 190,200 sales, down around 20 per cent.

    Although it was down 9.1 per cent, China remains the Volkswagen Group’s highest volume region with 3,849,000 sales.

    Next up is western Europe, down 21.6 per cent to 2,939,900, and North America, off 17.4 per cent to 785,800.

    Although the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has yet to provide its final 2020 figures, our estimate based on preliminary numbers show it will have sold at around 9.0 million cars.

    MORE: Everything Toyota
    MORE: Everything Volkswagen

    Derek Fung

    Derek Fung would love to tell you about his multiple degrees, but he's too busy writing up some news right now. In his spare time Derek loves chasing automotive rabbits down the hole. Based in New York, New York, Derek loves to travel and is very much a window not an aisle person.

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