A decline in first quarter results is jeopardizing Toyota’s four year supremacy atop the global sales charts.
Disruptions in production have contributed to a drop in worldwide deliveries by 2.3 percent to 2.46 million vehicles. At the same time, scandal-ridden Volkswagen reported that its deliveries in the January to March period increased 0.8 percent to 2.5 million units.
In February, Toyota faced production halts as a result of a fire at a plant operated by the Aichi Steel Corporation. The stoppage disrupted supplies used in the manufacturing of engine, transmission and chassis components. Overall output declined 17 percent to 298,839 vehicles.
This month, an earthquake has forced Toyota to shut down domestic assembly plants, resulting in a loss of an additional 80,000 vehicles.
Despite the ongoing distractions of its diesel emissions scandal, VW increased its deliveries in the first quarter. Buoyed by increases of 6.4 percent in China and 3.5 percent in Western Europe, the company surpassed Toyota for the second quarter in the past 12 months.
For the same period, GM reported a drop in deliveries of 2.5 percent to 2.36 million units, placing it third among leading manufacturers.