Toyota is the number one car manufacturer in the world
Despite parts shortages and the crisis in Ukraine, the Japanese group’s sales remained stable at 10.5 million vehicles in 2022, while sales of its arch-rival Volkswagen AG fell 7% to 8.3 million vehicles. .
Number one for the third year in a row
In 2022, the Japanese group Toyota will be at the top of the list of the largest car manufacturers in the world for the third year in a row. The group, which includes subsidiaries such as Daihatsu and Hino, sold 10.5 million vehicles throughout the year, according to production and distribution figures released on Monday.
“Our overall sales remain flat in 2022 due to strong demand in Asia,” the company said in a statement.
Despite semiconductor shortages plaguing the industry, factory outages related to Covid-19 in China and supply chain disruptions caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the main rival seems to be more punished than others’ other crises.
“Despite the impact of production constraints caused by the spread of Covid-19, increased demand for semiconductors and other factors, global sales remained at the same level as last year due to “solid demand which is centered on Asia” excluding Japan, Toyota commented in a press release published on Monday, January 30. Sales actually decreased by 0.1% compared to 2021.
Thus, on the Asian continent, sales of the Toyota brand alone (excluding Japan) increased by 6% in 12 months. They remained stable in Europe and China, while they fell 8.8% in North America.
The long and difficult transition to electric
Toyota recently announced that it plans to produce up to 10.6 million vehicles under the Toyota and Lexus brands this year. However, it is not excluded that the final number will be 10% lower than this objective “upper limit”, or about 9.5 million units, mainly due to the lack of semiconductors.
However, these targets are significantly higher than its production in previous years, including 2019 production (9.05 million units) before the pandemic.
However, Toyota’s all-electric vehicle sales still lag in comparison. Sales concern only 24,466 vehicles in 2022, far from the American Tesla (1.3 million), the Chinese BYD (911,000) or the Volkswagen group (572,100).
It must be said that the Japanese have taken their time to seriously tackle this area, preferring other technologies such as hybrid engines. Last year’s commercial launch of its first large all-electric model, the bZ4X SUV, was hit hard by an embarrassing recall campaign for a tire fitting issue shortly after its launch.
However, the Japanese manufacturer continues its move towards electric vehicles. In early December 2022, it announced five new all-electric models coming to Europe in 2026 – although it looks like there will be plug-in hybrids.
Toyota plans to sell 10% of its electric cars and 80% of its hybrids (including plug-in vehicles) in Europe by 2025, followed by 50% of its sales in the wider that Europe by 2030.
Change in group leader
Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda unexpectedly announced last week that he will step down on April 1. He will be replaced by one of his deputies, Koji Sato, who is also the chairman of the board of directors.
As for Koji Sato, who previously served as the group’s chief operating officer and brand director, he vowed to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor. It is about continuing to “accelerate the transition to electrification” while ensuring that vehicles are built to “respond to different local values and needs”.
The group’s current credo is not to put all its eggs in one basket and to offer its customers maximum choice in line with the speed of the low-carbon transition in their respective regions.