Toyota claimed the number one spot in global light vehicle sales last year, ending VW’s nearly five-year reign at the top.
VW took the back seat to Toyota because its pandemic-related sales slump was greater than Toyota’s. Toyota group sales were 9.53 million (-11%). VW’s global deliveries were 9.31 million (-15%). One reason for VW’s greater decline was its reliance on the European market hit harder by COVID-19 lockdown measures. European sales were off 24% whereas in the U.S., Toyota’s hot spot, sales slowed 14.4%.