Toyota tops GM in U.S. sales for first time ever – but there’s a catch – Press Herald

January 5, 2022 by No Comments

In a historic turn, Toyota Motor North America has taken the U.S. sales crown from General Motors for 2021 after the shortage of semiconductor chips severely hampered GM’s ability to build enough new vehicles to meet demand.

On Tuesday, GM and Toyota both reported fourth-quarter and full-year new car sales results and, as many analysts predicted, Toyota outsold GM in both categories. GM has been the market leader since the Great Depression, according to Automotive News.

GM reported its fourth-quarter sales plummeted 43 percent to 440,745 vehicles sold compared with the year-ago quarter. For the full year, GM’s new vehicle sales in the U.S. declined 13 percent to 2.2 million new cars sold.

Meanwhile, Toyota reported it sold 474,378 new vehicles in the fourth quarter, down 28 percent from the year-ago period. For the full year, it sold 2.3 million vehicles, a 10.4 percent gain from 2020. Toyota’s biggest sellers were the Camry sedan, the RAV4 and Highlander SUVs and the Tacoma pickup.

But Toyota’s win is likely an anomaly, said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of Insights for Edmunds.

“Although Toyota should be commended for this accomplishment in the face of the Detroit Three’s historic dominance in auto sales, the company shouldn’t get too comfortable in the top spot,” Caldwell said. “It’s unlikely that this will happen again since 2021 was an extraordinarily unusual year.”

But in its sales release, Toyota leaders said the company is positioned to continue to deliver strong sales.

“Despite a second consecutive year of challenges, TMNA focused on delivering an exceptional customer experience, and we remain optimistic as our electrification strategy further evolves,” Jack Hollis, Toyota Motor North America’s senior vice president of Automotive Operations Group, said in a statement. “Thanks to our phenomenal dealers and world-class purchasing and manufacturing teams, our inventory continues to improve and we’re preparing to introduce 21 all-new, refreshed or special edition vehicles in 2022.”

Ford Motor Co. releases its results Wednesday. Stellantis’ numbers were expected later Tuesday.


GM’s sales were supported by the Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra full-size pickups, which sold a combined total of 778,689 units for the year. But they did not top last year’s sales. GM sold 248,924 Sierras this year, down about 2 percent from what it sold in 2020. Likewise, Silverado sales came in at 529,765, an 11 percent decline from 2020.

GM’s President of North America Steve Carlisle said the automaker is poised to recapture market share in the year ahead.

“In 2022, we plan to take advantage of the strong economy and anticipated improved semiconductor supplies to grow our sales and share,” Carlisle said in a statement. “We will also further strengthen our industry leadership in trucks and begin our drive to EV leadership in North America with the rollouts of the GMC HUMMER EV, Cadillac Lyriq and the reveals of the Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV.”

GM’s chief economist said economic growth in the U.S. and improving semiconductor availability will help drive U.S. total light industry sales from around 15 million in 2021 to 16 million this year.

“The key constraint for sales continues to be reduced inventory levels as a result of the semiconductor shortage. Those inventory levels are beginning to recover against a backdrop of strong fundamental demand conditions, with ample job openings, high household savings and low interest rates,” said GM’s Elaine Buckberg.

All automakers struggled in 2021 to keep new-car production running amid …….



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