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Toyota beats Volkswagen to become World's No 1 car seller in 2020

Toyota beats Volkswagen to become World's No 1 car seller in 2020

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Toyota is pictured at Bangkok Auto Salon 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand, Jul 4, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha)

TOKYO: Japan's Toyota Motor overtook Germany's Volkswagen in vehicle sales last year, regaining pole position as the world's top selling automaker for the first time in five years as the pandemic demand slump hit its German rival harder.

Toyota said on Thursday (Jan 28) its group-wide global sales fell 11.3 per cent to 9.528 million vehicles in 2020. That compared with a 15.2 per cent drop at Volkswagen to 9.305 million vehicles.

Automakers have suffered as coronavirus lockdowns have stopped people from visiting car showrooms and forced manufacturing plants to reduce or halt production.

Toyota, however, has weathered the pandemic better in part because its home market Japan, and the Asian region in general, have been less affected by the outbreak than Europe and the United States.

"Our focus is not on what our ranking may be, but on serving our customers," a Toyota spokeswoman said.

As demand for cars rebounds, particularly in China, Toyota, Volkswagen and other manufacturers are scrambling to tap growing demand for electric cars. Toyota said that the ratio of electric vehicle it sold last year grew to 23 per cent of total sales from 20 per cent in 2019.

Source: Reuters/kv

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