Toyota overthrows GM as leader in US sales after nearly a century at the top Reuters writes


© Reuters. PHOTOGRAPHY: Toyota logo seen on the hood of the recently launched Camry Hybrid electric vehicle in New Delhi, India, January 18, 2019. REUTERS / Anushree Fadnavis

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Japanese car manufacturer Toyota The engine (NYSE 🙂 Corp. surpassed General Motors Co. (NYSE 🙂 in the United States in 2021, the first time a Detroit-based carmaker has not led car sales in the U.S. for a full year since 1931.

Toyota sold 2.332 million vehicles in the United States in 2021, compared to 2.218 million for General Motors, carmakers said on Tuesday.

GM’s U.S. sales fell 13% in 2021 – and 43% in the fourth quarter – while Toyota grew 10% this year. GM last had lower sales in 2010 at $ 2.202 million.

For the full year 2020, GM sales in the U.S. were $ 2.55 million, compared to Toyota’s 2.11 million and Ford Motor (NYSE 🙂 Co of 2.04 million.

Last year was marked by a shortage of semiconductors widely used in vehicles, forcing car manufacturers to focus on their most profitable models.

GM said Tuesday that it expects U.S. economic growth to increase overall light vehicle sales in the U.S. from about 15 million in 2021 to about 16 million in 2022.

GM has been the largest vehicle dealer in the United States since 1931, when it overtook Ford, according to industry publication Automotive News.

Toyota does not boast of achievement. Senior Vice President Jack Hollis said that the car manufacturer is “grateful” to its loyal customers, but “being number 1 is never in focus or priority.”

The Japanese carmaker does not consider it sustainable to be able to maintain its lead in U.S. sales and has not planned to leverage the 2021 achievement in any advertising, he added. Analysts are credited with Toyota for better coping with the lack of chips than other carmakers.

GM spokesman Jim Cain said the Detroit-based carmaker had a very strong sales year in the United States of SUVs and full-size trucks because it focused on profitability, and as the semiconductor supply improves, so will sales.

“I wouldn’t rush out if I (Toyota) and got a tattoo of‘ We’re Number 1, ’” he said.

GM under CEO Mary Barra also stressed quantity profitability, leaving markets that are losing money like Europe and Russia.

BULL 2022

For the entire industry, sales ended in 2021 with just under 15 million vehicles, according to Wards Intelligence, with annual sales rates in December at 12.44 million. The number for the full year was well below the five-year average of 17.3 million from 2015 to 2019.

IHS Markit predicts U.S. sales will reach nearly $ 15.5 million in 2022. Toyota predicts industry sales will jump to $ 16.5 million this year, and demand will be even higher if the industry can further increase production, with its own sales of 2.4 million.

“If you had asked me to predict how the year would go at the beginning of (last) January, I would have misunderstood everything because this whole microchip shortage has just come out of the left field and caused a lot of devastation,” said Hyundai Motor America sales chief Randy Parker. . “But at the same time, it sharpened our skills.”

“I am in a very good mood for 2022,” he added. Hyundai’s U.S. sales rose 19% last year to more than 738,000 vehicles, including a record figure on the retail side.

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