Toyota beats VW to become World's No.1 car seller

Regaining pole position as the world's top selling automaker for the first time in five years.

Japan's Toyota Motor overtook Germany's Volkswagen in vehicle sales last year, as the global health crisis demand slump hit its German rival harder.

Toyota said on Thursday (Jan 28) its group-wide global sales fell 11.3% to 9.5 million vehicles in 2020.

That was compared with around a 15 percent drop at Volkswagen.

Automakers have suffered as lockdowns have stopped people visiting car showrooms.

And forced manufacturing plants to reduce or halt production.

Toyota, however, has weathered the pandemic better.

That's partly thanks to its home market Japan, and the Asian region in general, which has been less affected by the outbreak than Europe and the United States.

As demand for cars rebounds, particularly in China, Toyota, Volkswagen and other manufacturers are scrambling to tap growing demand for electric cars.

Toyota said that 23% of total sales last year were EVs, up from 20% in 2019.