Toyota is still No. 1, but recalls and certification scandals add to the list of problems

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg/Getty Images

A Camry sedan was showcased at the Toyota offices in Tokyo in 2017.

Hong Kong

Toyota has overtaken German rival Volkswagen as the world's largest automaker by sales for the fourth year in a row.

Despite the good news for Toyota (T.M), risks being mired in scandals over how it puts some of its cars through inspections, and continues to fall from a decades-old problem with exploding airbags.

Japanese manufacturer said On Tuesday it sold 11.2 million vehicles worldwide in 2023, including its Daihatsu and Hino lines. This is 7.2% higher than the previous year.

In comparison, the Volkswagen Group declared Earlier this month it had delivered 9.2 million vehicles last year, up 12% compared to 2022.

The two have been fighting for the title for years. In 2012, Toyota became It is the world's leading car manufacturer, surpassing General Motors in sales. Volkswagen later acquired the Japanese company. Unemployed Toyota in 2017.

In its Tuesday report, Toyota attributed its growth to “solid demand in each region, as well as easing semiconductor shortages.”

Sales in Japan's domestic market rose 20.9%, while overseas sales rose 4.1%.

But the Japanese behemoth may face an uphill battle this year as it grapples with growing concerns over the certification of some of its vehicles.

Monday, Toyota declared It will halt exports of some models after it found irregularities in certification tests for diesel engines made by its subsidiary Toyota Industries.

In total, 10 models use the affected engines worldwide, including the Land Cruiser 300 SUV and Hiace van, Toyota said.

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The company says it is now taking steps to regain confidence, including conducting new engine certification tests in front of regulators as required.

The revelations come a month after Daihatsu, the Japanese small car maker owned by Toyota. Stopped domestic production This is more than 30 years after admitting to falsifying the results of safety tests.

Both scandals have raised serious questions for Toyota as a whole.

“We recognize the seriousness of the repeated certification irregularities [Toyota Industries]”Following Daihatsu has shaken the very foundations of the company as an automobile manufacturer,” Toyota said on Monday. Report.

The group has also urged people to stop driving some of its cars in the US And they should be fixed immediately. Last week, Toyota warned Owners of about 50,000 vehicles — including some Corolla and RAV4 models dating back to 2003 — have experienced parts of the airbags exploding, causing serious injury or death.

Toyota has remembered Tens of thousands of cars in recent years have faulty Takata airbags. In December, so did Toyota remembered Nearly 1 million cars and SUVs in the U.S. are affected by a potential defect that could cause the passenger airbag to fail in a crash.

Volkswagen saw growth in all regions last year, particularly in Europe and North America. Deliveries in both markets increased by 19.7% and 17.9% respectively.

China, the company's biggest market, grew just 1.6%, with management citing a “challenging” environment.

Competition has intensified in China's auto market – the world's largest – as domestic manufacturers gain share and demand slows. Last year, Tesla (D.S.L.A) lowered prices in China to attract customers, slowed growth, and a Price war It attracted dozens of automakers.

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War has boosted sales, but threatened industry-wide profitability.

BYD is the latest example of a company to see its bottom line affected. On Monday, the Chinese electric vehicle maker said in a stock exchange Filing Its net income may rise to 86.5% in 2023 from the previous year.

Although this is a significant increase, it represents a slowdown 446% increase in profit Recorded in 2022.

BYD shares fell 4.4% on the news Tuesday in Hong Kong.

Warren Buffett-backed BYD has since generated a lot of buzz lately left over Tesla is the world's largest seller of electric vehicles (EVs) at the end of last year.

Legacy automakers are also racing to boost sales of their EVs. By 2023, Volkswagen expects sales of fully electric vehicles to grow by nearly 35% to 771,100 units.

That's a long time, compared to the 104,000 battery-powered vehicles sold by Toyota left behind In the global EV race. The company, which is the leader in hybrid cars, has sold a total of 3.7 million electric vehicles by 2023, including hybrids.

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