Toyota poised to dethrone General Motors in vehicle sales
Toyota is poised to become America's vehicle sales leader for the first time, snatching a title that General Motors (GM) has held for nearly a century. This is a sign that American automakers have lost their dominance in their home market.
Toyota plans to invest $35.200 billion in electric cars to close the gap with its rivals. a combined 2005% of sales in the country.
But in 2021, GM, Ford and Stellantis – the European automaker that owns Chrysler – only had 38% of the US market between them in the first nine months of the year. Even adding Tesla, US automakers barely exceed 40% of sales.
General Motors' sales have underperformed Toyota for the first nine months, and its fourth-quarter results are expected to underperform Toyota as well. Both companies are expected to post sharp declines in sales last quarter.
GM trailed Toyota slightly in second-quarter sales, and fell far behind in the third. According to Cox Automotive forecasts, Toyota will post a 31% sales decline in the fourth quarter, but GM's sales are expected to fall 46%, allowing Toyota to increase its lead.
According to experts, it is uncertain whether Toyota will be able to maintain sales leadership in the United States in the coming years.
"I wouldn't expect Toyota to necessarily maintain this lead," said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of Industry Insights at Edmunds. “It's not like GM is doing something magical all these years. They just have more channels to sell and more brands.”
General Motors suggested that it hopes to be back in the lead soon.
“The shortage of semiconductors [chips], among other things, created an unprecedented set of circumstances in 2021,” the company said. “Still, GM extended its lead in full-size trucks and SUVs. And 2022 begins with a gradually improving supply chain, which should lead to growth as we launch several new vehicles, including redesigned trucks and electrics.”
Chip shortages prompted both automakers to temporarily slow or stop production at many factories. This reduced dealer inventory and pushed car prices to record levels.
"Chips remain the focus for this year," said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Cox Automotive.
Cox Automotive forecasts a 24% drop in US new car sales across the industry in the fourth quarter compared to a year earlier.
GM's prospects look brighter than its current problems, Caldwell said. It's betting big on an all-electric future, and Toyota is catching up on its own electric vehicle plans.
"If electric and autonomous vehicles are the future, GM is preparing very well," he said.
New year, same electrified vision. Join us at #CES2022 for an exclusive look at the progress we've made toward our all-electric future, including the reveal of the next EV in our lineup — the @Chevrolet #SilveradoEV. pic.twitter.com/4A70NU3yc5
— General Motors (@GM) January 4, 2022
Toyota, which makes 70% of the cars and trucks it sells in the United States at five US plants, released a statement saying it was "grateful to our loyal customers for putting their safety and trust in Toyota and Lexus vehicles." And he said that sales ranking has never been a focus or priority.
“The company's focus has always been – and will continue to be – to be the best brand in terms of safety and quality in the minds of customers,” Toyota said.
#ICYMI: ⚡ We've got some electrifying news about our expanding plans for battery electric vehicles. Check out the future of mobility and how we're working to help create a carbon-neutral society: https://t.co/cVUlD5fhF0 #LetsGoPlaces pic.twitter.com/oc9j6u6GYw
— Toyota USA (@Toyota) December 14, 2021
Author: Patricia Chung 5:38 pm