We've been waiting for Toyota to release sales data for 2023 ever since the Volkswagen Group announced it sold 9.24 million cars. The numbers are in, and as expected, the Japanese juggernaut has managed to comfortably beat its German rival. With a record-breaking 11,233,039 vehicles shipped last year, an increase of 7.2 per cent year-over-year, Toyota is the best-selling automaker for the fourth year in a row.

A closer look at the numbers shows the Toyota and Lexus brands delivered 10,307,395 cars in 2023, or 7.7 per cent more than the year before and a new record. The Daihatsu subsidiary also posted solid results as shipments grew by 3.2 per cent to 790,441 units. The last 12 months haven't been kind to the Hino division in charge of commercial vehicles as sales declined by 9.8 per cent to 135,203 units.

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Sales outside of Japan reached an all-time high last year when Toyota and its subsidiaries shipped 8,928,230 cars, an increase of 4.1 per cent compared to the previous year. The main Toyota and Lexus brands accounted for the bulk of the sales, with 8,634,425 cars, up by 4.3 per cent over 2022 to set yet another record. The United States was the biggest single market with 2,617,033 cars, or 7 per cent more than the year before.

Toyota's luxury division Lexus achieved record sales in 2023 after shipping 824,258 cars – a massive 132-per cent jump compared to 2022. North America was by far the biggest region with 355,606 units (+124 per cent), followed by Asia with 236,587 units (+113 per cent) and domestic market Japan with 94,647 units (+229 per cent).

How did other large automakers fare in 2023? The Hyundai/Kia/Genesis trio posted total sales of 7.32 million vehicles (+6.7 per cent increase) to claim the last spot on the podium. General Motors has yet to publish global sales figures for the previous year, but we'll remind you that it shipped 5.93 million cars in 2022. Stellantis will publish data for the year that just ended on 15 February, and in the meantime, it's worth mentioning deliveries stood at 5.84 million vehicles in 2022.

Another Japanese automaker published global sales results today for the whole 2023. Nissan moved 3,225,632 cars in the previous 12 months, representing an increase of 4.6 per cent.