File: Toyota said it had sold 9.53 million vehicles around the world last year. AFP/Philip Fong
TOKYO - Japan's Toyota reclaimed the title of world's top-selling automaker in 2020, according to data released by the firm on Thursday, pushing Volkswagen into second place for the first time in five years.
Toyota said it had sold 9.53 million vehicles around the world last year, overtaking the 9.3 million sales made by its German rival.
The Japanese giant took the lead despite a decline in global sales of more than 10 percent as the auto industry suffered the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Despite the Covid-19 pandemic... Toyota was able to continue corporate activities through comprehensive implementation of various infection prevention measures, and by working together with partners including suppliers and dealers," it said in a statement.
That was still better than the more than 15 percent drop in sales Volkswagen announced earlier this month.
Toyota said it had benefited from a jump in sales in China, which were up over 10 percent year-on-year, and a better-than-expected performance globally in the October-December quarter.
The last time Toyota held the top spot was in 2015, with VW edging it out in the following years.