Toyota has once again won the world car sales race. The company set an annual record of 11.2 million cars sold in 2023. This is the fourth consecutive year that the Japanese automaker has been on top.
Toyota also reported a 7.2% increase in global sales, including sales from small car maker Daihatsu and truck maker Hino Motors.
However, scandals related to irregularities in certification tests followed the automaker.
At an event to announce a vision for Toyota, the head of the Japanese automaker spoke about cases of counterfeiting.
“I would like to express my deepest apologies to our customers and shareholders for the inconvenience and concern caused by the successive wrongdoings at Hino Motors, Daihatsu and Toyota Industries.”
At the finish line: results in 2023
Toyota has left its competitors in the dust. Its biggest rival, Volkswagen, reported sales of 9.2 million cars in 2023 – a 2 million disadvantage compared to the Japanese automaker.
Over the past 10 years, global sales of the Toyota Group have exceeded 10 million vehicles. The only exception was 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the auto sector.
However, the competition is becoming fiercer. Volkswagen sales around the world represented a 12% increase compared to 2022.
In Europe and North America, the German plant increased by 19.7% and 17.9%, respectively.
Toyota's advantage is due to the fact that the company has optimized its supply chain. Moreover, stable demand in Europe and North America also boosted the manufacturer's sales.
Slippery Slope: Toyota Fraud
Despite the results in 2023, the Japanese automaker must face a slippery road ahead.
This is because Toyota announced on Monday (29) that it had found signs of fraud in certification tests for diesel engines to achieve higher numbers in power and torque.
The company also announced the discontinuation of nine models whose engines were affected by the imitation. There were no vehicles sold in Latin America included in the list.
The scandals do not stop there. In December, Daihatsu, a subsidiary of Toyota Industries, also admitted to falsifying safety test results.
According to the statement, the subsidiary has been committing the fraud for more than 30 years. The investigation found problems with 64 models whose shipments were suspended.
Daihatsu announced, Tuesday (3), that its global production fell by 25% to 121,000 vehicles in December. Global sales fell by about 8%.
*With information from Reuters and CNN Business
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