Toyota saw global sales rise in the first half of 2023, even as its position in the U.S. was challenged by competitors.
For the first six months of the year, the Japanese car manufacturer reported sales of 4.9 million units, an increase of 5.1% from the previous year. Separating its quarterly results, Toyota saw sales rise 5.8% in Q2 from Q1 2023 and 8.4% from Q2 2022, a difference of 138,942 and 195,793 units, respectively.
Toyota also sold more electric vehicles in the first half of 2023 than it did in 2022. The company saw EV sales climb to 46,171 units during the period. Hybrid sales rose 37.6% from the previous year to 292,131 units and represented almost 30% of global sales in June. Until last year, all of the automaker’s electrified models were hybrids due to former CEO Akio Toyoda’s concerns about battery-only cars, which is why 2022 was the first year to see a fully-electrified Toyota model sold in the U.S.
While the automaker made gains in its domestic and global markets, its sales for the period declined 0.7% in the U.S. to over 1 million units. The drop comes as Toyota grapples with heightened competition from American manufacturers. Of special concern to the brand is Tesla, which recently outsold the brand in California, the largest car market in the U.S., for the first time.
Toyota has seen performance improve steadily from the previous year, during which many automakers struggled to secure components and materials for production. However, its position in the U.S. has been weakened by other car makers, partly due to its hesitation to join the electric vehicle market and partly because of an ongoing shortage of semiconductors. Although Toyota attributed its success in 2023 to easing supply chain restrictions, the company is still far behind in the EV market. The brand will need to take the segment seriously if it hopes to maintain a competitive edge against other manufacturers, something its new CEO, Soji Kato, has promised to do.