TOKYO – Japan’s Toyota Motor Co said on Friday its vehicle sales rose by 10.1% last year, making it the world’s biggest carmaker for a second straight year and putting it further ahead of its nearest rival, Germany’s Volkswagen AG.

Toyota said it sold 10.5 million vehicles in 2021, including those by affiliates Daihatsu Motors and Hino Motors.

That compared with 8.9 million delivered by Volkswagen in the same period, 5% fewer than in 2020 and its lowest sales figures in 10 years.

Carmakers have been forced to cut output because a shortage of semiconductors during the coronavirus pandemic disrupted supply chains, boosting competition for the key component among makers of consumer electronic devices.

However, the Japanese company has weathered the pandemic better than most other carmakers because its home market, Japan, and parts of Asia were less affected than Europe.

Toyota, which will release third-quarter earnings on Feb 9, said it is likely to fall short of a production target of nine million vehicles in the business year that ends on March 31 because of disruptions linked to Covid-19.

IN PHOTO: People stand near a Toyota GR Supra at the Indonesia International Auto Show in Tangerang, near Jakarta, Indonesia, November 12, 2021. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana