NAGOYA (Kyodo) -- Toyota Motor said Thursday global production grew 11.7% in September from a year earlier to 841,915 vehicles, marking the first increase in nine months and indicating a recovery from the sales slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic may have begun.
Led by a 48.5% jump in China, the production figure was the highest level on record for September, according to the major Japanese automaker.
Toyota's global sales increased 1.9% to 837,049 units propelled by high demand in China, the world's largest auto market, as well as the popularity of new models.
The company's global output has been gradually trending towards a recovery after tumbling 54.4% in May amid the COVID-19 crisis. It reported a 6.7% fall in August and a 10.2% drop in July.
"It is hard to predict whether we will continue to recover or see impacts of the novel coronavirus again," a Toyota official said.
In September, the carmaker's overseas output increased 16.3% to 536,287 units, with production up 19.9% in Europe and 8.3% in North America.
Domestic production rose 4.5% to 305,628 vehicles, thanks to the popularity of the Harrier SUV and the Yaris compact. In the April to September period, Toyota logged a 23.1% decline in global production from a year earlier to 3,501,041 units due to the pandemic.
Sales dropped 19.0% to 4,011,479 vehicles during the six-month period.