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With 11.2 million vehicles sold in 2023, the Japanese giant has overtaken the German group Volkswagen.

New world sales record for Toyota

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Toyota retains the title of world number one automobile in volume, ahead of the German group Volkswagen.

Agence France-Presse< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Toyota announced on Tuesday that it had sold 11.2 million vehicles in 2023, a new record consolidating its first place in the world in volume. But the Japanese colossus is keeping a low profile, while three of its subsidiaries are affected by scandals.

The increase over one year was robust (+7.2%), while the group (Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino brands) benefited from ;a surge in its hybrid vehicle sales and the elimination of semiconductor shortages, which had previously slowed its production.

Toyota regained the symbolic title of world number one automobile by volume in 2020 and has kept it since, ahead of the German group Volkswagen, which again came second last year with 9.24 million of vehicles sold (+12%, according to figures published at the beginning of January).

The South Korean Hyundai-Kia maintained its third place, with 7.3 million units sold in 2023 (+6.7%).

For its part, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors alliance sold 6.4 million vehicles last year (+4%), AFP calculated based on Nissan's annual sales ( +4.6%) and Mitsubishi (-10.4%), also published on Tuesday. Those of Renault, published in mid-January, increased by 9% in 2023.

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ELSE ON INFO: Parliamentary return: the CAQ and the challenge of reconquering Quebec< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Stellantis' volume sales are expected to be announced during its annual results on February 15. Barclays expects around 6.15 million vehicles sold by the French-Italian-American group in 2023.

Toyota, however, has little desire to show off these days. Because both Hino (trucks and buses) and Daihatsu (mini-cars) are splashed by irregularities in the certifications of their vehicles in Japan, bad practices that have lasted for years.

Hino sales fell last year because of the scandal (-9.8%), and Daihatsu has suspended all production since the end of December, hoping to gradually resume it from February.

Toyota also announced on Monday the suspension of shipments of ten diesel models due to similar irregularities in the approval of their engines in Japan, produced by another of its subsidiaries, Toyota Industries.

I am ashamed to admit that such situations occurred, Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda said on Tuesday. during a press conference in a former group factory converted into a commemorative museum in Nagoya.

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Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda calls for a return to basics.

Like Toyota in the late 2000s, when the brand had to carry out giant recalls of vehicles around the world due to quality problems, its subsidiaries lost sight of the values ​​and priorities that should have been maintained, said Mr. Toyoda.

He argued for a return to basics, focused on gemba, Toyota's philosophy of optimizing its processes by placing x27;atelier, its employees and its products at the heart.

Regaining the trust of our customers will take time, said the grandson of the founder of Toyota, who expressed his deep apologies for the scandals affecting his subsidiaries.

He also said he felt fully responsible for these scandals. But rather than resigning, he wants to act and share his past experience in Toyota's turnaround in the 2010s with the subsidiaries, he explained.

Subsidiary scandals could potentially have repercussions on Toyota's overall reputation, especially if concerns focus on governance and ethical practices, Tatsuo Yoshida, an auto analyst at Bloomberg, told AFP on Tuesday. Intelligence.

The extent to which they spread beyond Japan will depend on the severity of the problems, how Toyota deals with them and how its response is perceived by the public, he said. he added.

Toyota is also lagging behind in the 100% electric segment, in which it sold only 104,018 vehicles in 2023: a figure that has certainly quadrupled over one year, but which still pales in comparison to the American Tesla (1.81 million electric cars delivered) and the Chinese BYD (1.57 million units). p>

But for the moment, Toyota more than compensates for this weak point with the dynamism of its global sales of hybrid vehicles (more than 3.4 million x27;units in 2023, a jump of 31.4% year-on-year).

Toyota targets 1.5 million electric sales per year from 2026 , but this objective looks increasingly difficult to achieve.

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