Toyota Motor Corp. looks poised to repeat as the world’s largest automaker for a third straight year, having outsold Volkswagen AG by more than 1 million vehicles through April.
While both automakers’ China operations have been hamstrung by lockdown measures, Toyota has better managed to limit the damage. The Japanese manufacturer said Monday that worldwide deliveries slipped 5.8% in the first four months of the year, whereas sales for its German rival plunged 26%.
Toyota has managed to continue outpacing VW despite coming up short of a production target last month that the company had pared back due to the spread of Covid-19 in Japan and overseas. President Akio Toyoda told employees in March that the automaker was reexamining manufacturing plans along with suppliers to avoid “exhaustion.” The company set a record for worldwide vehicle output that month.
VW has struggled this year in China, its largest market, with deliveries dropping 30% through April. The automaker also has a much bigger presence than Toyota in Western Europe, where Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has further disrupted already strained supply chains.