Toyota sales reach record in March on recovering demand for automobiles

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TOKYO – Toyota Motor’s global sales in March rose to a record, as the automaker’s ability to keep churning out vehicles amid a global shortage of chips puts the company in prime position to capitalize on a resurgence in demand for cars.

Toyota’s global sales in March rose 44 per cent to 982,912 units, a record for a single month, the company said in a statement on Wednesday (April 28). The world’s largest automaker produced 843,393 units that month, up 32 per cent from a year , when the pandemic was forcing global automakers to suspend production in factories.

Toyota’s exhaustive monitoring of its chain and stockpiling of chips have allowed it to keep churning out cars to meet rising demand. The bright sales figures come as consumers, flush with cash and emboldened by signs that the Covid-19 crisis may be waning, snap up cars. Sales were particularly strong in China and North America, a Toyota spokeswoman said.

While appetite for cars recovers in many regions of the world, some automakers are proving unable to fully capitalize on that demand due to a lingering global shortage of semiconductors used in vehicles. Chip shortages knocked about 1.3 million units off global car output in the first three months of the year, according to IHS Markit.

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