The Japanese automaker retains the crown as the best-selling car globally

A Toyota Corolla.

Toyota sold more cars last year than any other automaker, according to data released by the company on Tuesday.

Toyota beat German rival Volkswagen to second place, selling a total of 11.2 million vehicles to customers worldwide over the past 12 months, marking a 7.2% increase over the previous year. This saw Toyota hold the top spot for four consecutive years and set a new annual record for car sales among all automakers.

Volkswagen recently reported 9.2 million sales, marking a 12% year-over-year increase. South Korea’s Hyundai-Kia took third place with 7.3 million sales, up 6.7%.

Most of the Japanese company’s sales are vehicles bearing the Toyota or Lexus logo, with the remainder coming from Toyota subsidiaries Daihatsu and Hino Motors. Toyota’s largest market is America with 2.6 million sales, an increase of 7% compared to the previous year.

Hybrids account for about a third of the Japanese car’s total sales, while sales of fully electric cars – a sector Toyota has been slow to engage in but is now investing heavily in – accounts for less than 1% of its sales.

However, not everything has gone smoothly for the Japanese car giant, as they have recently been grappling with a number of scandals.

Earlier this week it announced that it was stopping deliveries of several models, including Hilux trucks and Land Cruiser 300 SUVs, after irregularities were discovered in testing of diesel engines developed by supplier Toyota Industries. Reuters reported. Long term security testing errors too revealed at Daihatsu towards the end of last year, while in 2022 Hino Motors was also caught falsifying emissions data.

Wanting to limit damage to the brand, Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda, great-grandson of the automaker’s founder, told reporters at a meeting on Tuesday: “I would like to offer my deepest apologies to our customers and stakeholders for the inconvenience and concern caused by this matter. successive irregularities at Hino Motors, Daihatsu, and Toyota Industries,” adding that he would “lead the reform of the group.”

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