Japanese automaker Toyota finally succeeded in becoming America’s top-selling automobile brand for 2021. In doing so, Toyota dethrones Detroit automaker GM as America’s top-selling car marker. Previously, GM held the title since 1931.
GM Held The Title of America’ Top Automobile Brand For 90 Years
Toyota accomplished something that many foreign car manufacturers can only dream of. GM held the title of America’s top automobile sales since 1931.
This translates into 90 years of GM consistently topping sales. Toyota also managed to become the first non-American car manufacturer to take the top spot.
For 2021, Toyota sold 2.3 million vehicles in the United States, which is 10.4% higher compared to its 2020 sales.
Meanwhile, GM only managed to register 2.2 million vehicles for the year, which is 12.9% lower than the previous year. This year’s difference between the top automobile brand and the runner-up is a mere 114,034 vehicles.
Toyota Managed its Supply Chain Better, Leading To Bigger Inventory
With a global shortage of computer chips hampering car manufacturers, many companies had fewer cars to sell in 2021. Assembly plants often had to shut down every now and then for lack of parts.
This led to almost all car manufacturers having lower inventories throughout the year. Toyota managed to manage its supply chain better, which gave them more to sell.
Jack Hollis, Toyota North America’s senior vice president of automotive operations, remained modest about the company’s accomplishment.
Hollis said that while Toyota surpassed GM in terms of sales, that was not the goal. In addition, Hollis said that staying at the number one spot won’t be sustainable.
GM America’s Top Automobile Seller Since 1931
Since 1931, GM held the spot of America’s top automobile seller. Prior to GM, another American auto manufacturer, Ford, held the top spot. For this year, GM had to endure supply chain issues like the rest of the auto industry.
Despite the chip shortage, GM actually ramped up its production. As a result, fourth-quarter production and wholesale deliveries went up from the third quarter.
Dealer inventory also rose in the last quarter, registering 199,662 vehicles vs 128,757 in the third quarter.
It was a rough sales year for GM due to the semiconductor chip shortage. Sales of its highly important Chevrolet Silverado pickup – its best-selling vehicle – were down by 10.8% to less than 530,000 units.
Even with the bump into second place, investors cheered on GM. Stocks reached a new 52-week high earlier this week at $65.98 a share. The stock closed a bit lower but still came up 7.5% higher compared to the previous day.
GM Getting Ready To Regain Its Former Title
GM North America President Steve Carlisle said that GM will rebound in 2022. The company plans to increase its sales and market share, which can ultimately make them regain the title it lost to Toyota.
“In 2022, we plan to take advantage of the strong economy and anticipate improved semiconductor supplies to grow our sales and share,” Carlisle said.
Watch Yahoo! Finance’s video reporting how smart planning by Toyota amid chip shortage helped it beat GM in auto sales in the United States:
Would you buy a Toyota over a GM? Or, would it be the other way around?
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