Toyota surpasses General Motors as top seller in US after 90 years
Toyota Motor has surpassed General Motors to grab the best-seller crown in the US for 2021, taking away an honor that the latter had held since 1931 or 90 years. Toyota sold 2.332 million vehicles in the US last year whereas General Motors closed its books with sales of 2.218 million units in 2021.
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Last year has been a tough fight for the automakers due to the ongoing global semiconductor shortage. This led to GM's US sales being down 13% for 2021 and down 43% in the fourth quarter whereas Toyota managed to up its sales 10% for the year. GM last had lower sales in 2010 at 2.202 million.
A comparison for 2020 shows that GM's US sales totaled 2.55 million as compared with Toyota's 2.11 million and Ford Motor Co's 2.04 million. Last year production of most OEMs was marred by a shortage of semiconductors used heavily in vehicles, forcing them to focus more on their most profitable models.
GM expects US economic growth to boost its total light-duty vehicle industry sales in the US from around 15 million in 2021 to around 16 million in 2022. The carmaker has been the largest seller of vehicles in the country since 1931, when it surpassed Ford, as per data from industry publication Automotive News.
Toyota, however, does not think it as sustainable goal to retain its US sales lead position in coming years and had no plans to use the 2021 accomplishment in any kind of advertising, the company's Senior Vice President Jack Hollis said in a statement. “(We are) grateful for (our) loyal customers, but being No. 1 is never a focus or priority," he added. Toyota had been credited by analysts for weathering the chip shortage better than other automakers, and thus increasing its sales from previous year.
(with inputs from Reuters)