The Toyota Motor Corp. group sold 4.16 million cars globally in the January-June period, likely becoming the world’s best-selling carmaker on a first-half basis for the first time in six years, data released by the company showed Thursday.
The figure, including sales of minivehicle-maker Daihatsu Motor Co. and truck producer Hino Motors Ltd., represented a 21.6 percent drop from the same period a year earlier on slowing demand amid the coronavirus pandemic. But it surpassed the 3.89 million units sold by Germany’s Volkswagen AG, which marked a 27.4 percent decline from a year before.
The alliance between Nissan Motor Co., Renault SA of France and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will release its sales data later in the day but it is expected to fall short of Toyota’s.
Toyota alone globally produced 3.31 million units in the first half of 2020, down 28.6 percent from the previous year.
Its global sales in June decreased 16 percent to 706,555 units from a year earlier, improving from a 31.8 percent decline in the previous month, due partly to robust sales in China.
In June, Toyota’s global output excluding that of its subsidiaries dropped 24 percent from a year earlier to 588,816 units, down for the sixth straight month, but improved from a record 54.4 percent plunge in May as its factories around the world gradually resumed production in the reporting month.
The company’s overseas output in June fell 11.6 percent to 428,909 vehicles and domestic production tumbled 44.8 percent to 159,907 units. The automaker halted production for four days at all its plants in Japan due to weak demand.
“We are on an upward trend” in global sales, Toyota said, expecting that it will recover to year-before levels early in 2021.