How did Toyota become the No. 1 automaker in America?
Jan. 05, 2022 5:20 AM ETToyota Motor Corporation (TM), GM, F, TSLABy: Yoel Minkoff, SA News Editor148 Comments
- The global chip shortage is impacting carmakers differently, causing uneven effects down the supply chain. The latest... After 90 years as the top-selling automaker in America, General Motors (NYSE:GM) has lost its sales crown to Japan's Toyota (NYSE:TM), which also became the first non-domestic automaker to take the top spot. Newly released figures showed U.S. sales for Toyota jumping 10% last year to 2.3M, compared to the 2.2M vehicles sold by GM, whose sales were down 13% for 2021 (Ford (NYSE:F) will report 2021 sales results later today).
- Better management: The modern car can have hundreds, if not thousands, of computer chips, and with a growing semiconductor shortage, Toyota began stockpiling silicon ahead of its rivals. It was earlier to bet on a recovering U.S. car market, cutting parts and production orders less sharply than competitors to make it better prepared for a return in demand. While Toyota executives were successful in navigating many supply chain problems, they don't expect their newfound sales title to lead to a permanent shift.
- "Yes, we did surpass General Motors in sales," said Jack Hollis, Toyota's senior vice president of operations in North America. "But to be clear, that is not our goal, nor do we see it as sustainable."
- Siphoning market share: Lofty car prices are expected to persist amid bare dealership lots and an inventory crunch, but those who are able to deliver are poised for outsized gains. Research firm Cox Automotive estimates Tesla's (NASDAQ:TSLA) U.S. sales jumped 61% in 2021 and the EV maker's stock already jumped 9% this week after hitting delivery and production records (Tesla doesn't break out its U.S. sales). Shares of Ford (F) also closed nearly 12% higher on Tuesday as a rise in orders led it to double production plans for its new electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck.