For the first time in five years, Toyota regained its title as the world’s No. 1 vehicle seller. It beat out Volkswagen for total new vehicle sales in 2020. Europe’s Volkswagen Group had been the leader since 2015, but last year saw its crown go to the Japanese auto giant.
In all, Toyota reported global sales of 9.53 million, whereas VW recorded 9.31 million. In addition to cars you know in America like the Toyota RAV4, Tacoma and Camry, the sales also include those of luxury brand Lexus as well as brands sold overseas such as Daihatsu.
Analysts cite the pandemic’s effects as one reason for the sales-leader swap. VW has a larger footprint in Europe, which experienced stricter lockdown orders, while Toyota has a stronger footprint in the United States, where less-restrictive lockdown orders meant less disruption.
Overall, global sales of new cars in 2020 is reported at 76.8 million, with roughly 14.5 million of those in the U.S. This year’s global sales are expected to rise, with analysts predicting over 84 million.