Toyota Motor Corp. poised to keep its title as the world’s best-selling carmaker. It beat Volkswagen AG for the fourth consecutive year after steady demand across North America and Europe helped sales and production reach new records in November.
Global sales — including that of subsidiaries Hino Motors Ltd. and Daihatsu Motor Co. — rose 12% from a year earlier to 986,262 units, the most ever for November, the company said Wednesday. Worldwide production reached an all-time high at 1,067,446 units.
The world’s biggest carmaker has been making and selling an unprecedented number of automobiles throughout the year, further securing its dominance with hybrid cars as it pushes forward with ambitious plans to mass-produce electric vehicles and catch up with Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. and China’s BYD Co.
Last week, Toyota dragged into a growing scandal after an investigation found that Daihatsu had manipulated collision safety data dating back to 1989. Daihatsu will suspend operations through January and compensate its partners for the losses they incur, it said this week.
Last year, Toyota suffered a different scandal with its other primary subsidiary, Hino, over falsified emissions data.
How much the latest scandal will cost regarding output, money, and customer trust is unclear. Daihatsu supplies cars and parts to Mazda Motor Corp., Subaru Corp. and several other major brands.
Third-party investigators warned that numerous Toyota and Daihatsu brand cars must undergo safety inspections again to become appropriately certified and that several models could ordered off the road.
Recalls of late have plagued Japanese carmakers.
More than 15 million cars have recalled worldwide due to a faulty fuel pump supplied by Denso Co., according to data compiled by Kyodo News. This includes vehicles branded and sold by Toyota and Honda Motor Co.
In July, Nissan Motor Co. recalled almost 1.4 million cars across the US, Europe and Japan due to several issues, including vehicles suddenly accelerating after exiting cruise control and a short circuit that can cause motors to stop while driving.
Nissan’s production rose 27% year-on-year to 317,233 units in November, including an 83% increase in China to more than 88,000. Global sales climbed 24%.
Honda’s global production rose 27% by 414,429 units, most prominently in North America and China. Domestic sales rose 13% to 58,263 units, it said Wednesday.
Toyota also saw sales in China climb 17% to 164,524 units, while production there rose 14%.
Meanwhile, as BYD is set to overtake Tesla as the world’s best-selling EV maker, hybrids are becoming increasingly dominant in Japan. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, they’re expected to surpass all other powertrains, including combustion and diesel engines, in registered passenger vehicle sales by the end of the year and comprise more than half sometime in 2024.
Toyota said its hybrid sales rose 52% in November, while battery EV sales increased by 227%.
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