Toyota Motor Corporation has overtaken General Motors as America’s best-selling automaker in 2021, marking the first time since 1931 that the Detroit automaker has not been the best-selling automaker in the United States.
It’s also the first time in American history that a non-domestic automaker has topped the rankings.
Toyota was able to improve its supply chain management, allowing it to dethrone GM for the first time in 90 years. A continuing shortage of semiconductor chips resulted in plant closures on an irregular basis, resulting in record-low vehicle inventories in 2021.
GM reported on Tuesday that it sold 2.2 million vehicles in the United States in 2021, down 12.9 percent from the previous year. Toyota, on the other hand, reported it sold 2.3 million vehicles in the United States last year, up 10.4 percent from 2020. There was a 114,034 vehicle sales disparity between the two companies.
Toyota North America’s senior vice president of automotive operations, Jack Hollis, downplayed the company’s top spot.
During a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, he said, “Yes, we did surpass General Motors in sales.” “But to be clear, that is not our goal, nor do we see it as sustainable.”
According to data from industry newspaper Automotive News, GM has been the leading seller of vehicles in the United States since 1931, when it surpassed Ford Motor.
GM’s shares hit a new 52-week high of $65.98 a share on Tuesday before ending at $65.74, up 7.5 percent. The boost came after the automaker announced that the chip shortage was reducing and that output would be raised towards the end of the year.
As supplies grew, GM said its fourth-quarter manufacturing and wholesale deliveries were up considerably from the third quarter. At the end of the fourth quarter, dealer inventory was 199,662, up from 128,757 automobiles in transit on their way to dealers at the end of the third quarter.
Despite a 25% drop in sales of its full-size Tundra pickup, Toyota was able to reach the milestone by growing sales of both automobiles and trucks last year. The company’s smaller Tacoma pickup truck saw a 5.7 percent increase in sales to 252,520 units.
Due to a lack of semiconductor chips, GM had a difficult sales year. The company’s best-selling vehicle, the Chevrolet Silverado truck, saw a 10.8% drop in sales to less than 530,000 units.
With the exception of Ford, which sold 1.7 million vehicles in November, most major automakers are slated to release their fourth-quarter and 2021 overall domestic sales figures on Tuesday. In 2021, roughly 15 million new light-duty vehicles are estimated to be sold.
Due to market volatility, industry analysts and forecasters are split on their sales projections for 2022. They range in size from roughly 15.2 million automobiles to around 16 million or more.
GM North America President Steve Carlisle stated that the carmaker intends to grow sales and market share in the coming year, maybe reclaiming the sales crown.
In 2022, he added in a press statement, “In 2022, we plan to take advantage of the strong economy and anticipated improved semiconductor supplies to grow our sales and share.”