Toyota beats VW Group in global sales in 2020

Toyota has managed to end Volkswagen Group’s five-year streak as the biggest automaker by volume.

The Japanese automaker said Thursday it delivered 9.528 million vehicles in 2020, down about 11.3% on the year before.

The total was made up of vehicles from Toyota, as well as Lexus, Hino and Daihatsu. The RAV4 was Toyota’s best-selling model, with global sales coming in at 994,000 units, up 2.9% on the year before.

VW Group’s deliveries in 2020 came in at 9.305 million vehicles, down 15.2% on the year before.

The last time Toyota was at the top of the sales chart was in 2015, when VW Group was set back by its diesel emissions cheating scandal.

Volkswagen ID 3

Volkswagen ID 3

For both automakers sales were down due to the restrictions in place for Covid-19. China was one of the few major markets were sales actually increased for both automakers.

The Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance was the third biggest automaker in 2020 with deliveries of 7.8 million vehicles, down 23.2% on the year before.

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Forbes reported Thursday that General Motors was fourth in 2020, though no numbers were mentioned.

Looking ahead, VW Group is likely to regain the top sales post in 2021 due to its lead over Toyota when it comes to electric vehicles. VW Group managed to deliver 231,600 EVs in 2020, which is already almost half the total of Tesla—and VW Group plans to launch several more EVs this year and dozens more in the years to come.

This month’s merger between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group to form Stellantis will also shake things up. Based on 2020’s numbers, Stellantis would be the fourth biggest automaker.

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