Toyota Motor Corp. remained the world's best-selling automaker with a record 5.47 million vehicles sold in the first six months of 2021, outpacing German archrival Volkswagen AG, the Japanese company's data showed Thursday.

It is the second year in a row that Toyota has been the world's top automaker in the first half, underscoring its sharp recovery from the initial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and relative resilience despite a global chip crunch.

Toyota's previous record sales for the first half of a year was set in 2019 with about 5.31 million vehicles sold globally.

Toyota has enjoyed robust sales in its key markets such as the United States and China. A Toyota official said the automaker has been able to "limit" the impact of the global semiconductor shortage.

Read: Air bag woes force Honda, Toyota to recall 6M vehicles

In the January-June period, Toyota sold 5,467,218 vehicles globally, up 31.3 percent from a year earlier. The figure includes those sold by its minivehicle-manufacturing subsidiary Daihatsu Motor Co. and truck maker Hino Motors Ltd.

Volkswagen sold 4,978,200 vehicles in the same period, up 27.9 percent from a year earlier.

In the six months through June, strong demand for new models in North America and China lifted Toyota's overseas sales to a record 4.3 million vehicles, a 36.5 percent year-on-year jump.

In Japan, the manufacturer of the Harrier SUV and Yaris compact car reported a 15.0 percent increase in sales to 1.17 million vehicles, including minicars with engines of up to 660 cc, Toyota said.

Read: Toyota to recall 1,380 defective cars in China

In the whole of 2020, Toyota reclaimed its crown as the top-selling automaker from Volkswagen for the first time in five years.

Among other Japanese automakers, Honda Motor Co. sold 2.37 million vehicles in the six-month period, up 25.8 percent from a year earlier, while Nissan Motor Co. reported its first year-on-year global sales growth in four years with 2.20 million vehicles, up 21.5 percent.

The global shortage of chips has forced automakers including Toyota and Volkswagen to curb production, casting a shadow over the auto industry. The pandemic has been boosting demand for semiconductors, used in a variety of products from laptops and game consoles to cars.