After 70 years, GM loses to Toyota the throne of leader in car sales in the US – El Financiero

Toyota Engine snatched away General Motors the crown of sales in U.S, swiping an honor the Detroit automaker has upheld since Herbert Hoover was president more than 70 years ago.

If the explanation of GM is credible – that your downfall sales 43 percent in the fourth quarter and 13 percent in the year is due to the semiconductor shortage – so the race for sales Last year it was really a supply chain contest. Whoever could best cajole the stretch chip makers to get more product was the winner.

Navigating the shortage has been a nightmare for the auto industry, and especially for American automakers. While the sales from GM fell in the year, Toyota, Honda Motor and Nissan Motor posted gains.


It is possible that Toyota not be number one -the place he occupied GM since 1931- for a long time.

“We see it as unsustainable,” said Jack Hollis, the company’s senior vice president of automotive operations, without giving further details Tuesday in a briefing for reporters.


GM do you agree. Steve Carlisle, the automaker’s president for North America, said the company will increase sales this year. Most of the major automakers reported sales of the fourth quarter in U.S on Tuesday. Ford Motor is expected to release its figures on Wednesday.

The dip in the chip

“Our dealerships and our engineering, supply chain, manufacturing and branding teams moved mountains to satisfy as many customers as possible in 2021,” Carlisle said in a statement. “In 2022, we plan to take advantage of the strength of the economy and the anticipated improvement in semiconductor supplies to increase our sales and our quota ”.

To resume your leadership position, GM it will have to go back to something closer to the 2.5 million vehicles the company delivered in 2020. It is certainly possible. In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic and semiconductor shortages hit, GM sold about 2.9 million vehicles.

Market share is vital to the long-term goal of GM from doubling revenues to $ 280 billion. This will require keeping gasoline car and truck buyers and attracting new ones who want electric vehicles.

And as production recovers, GM may not want all sales that I can get. Manufacturers automobiles Nationals usually have vehicles for 80 days in the dealerships, while the Japanese only have 50 days. A smaller inventory allows you to improve prices and increase profits.

Consumers pay record prices today, as manufacturers of automobiles they don’t need markdowns and dealers don’t have to haggle a lot.

“Domestic producers will run for 50 or 60 days instead of 80, even if that means less market share,” says Kevin Tynan, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “It may mean that they are not the manufacturer of automobiles of greater volume, but they will be much healthier from a financial perspective ”.

So that Toyota stay ahead I’d need a slice of the market American much greater than the one it has had so far. The quota of Toyota it rose to 14.3 percent in 2020 from 14 percentage points in 2018. GM It stood at 17.3 percent, little changed from 17.1 in 2018, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

Overall, it was a difficult year for the industry and it ended on a sour note. The automakers probably they sold a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 12.5 million new vehicles in December, down 23 percent from the previous year, according to the average forecast of six market researchers surveyed by Bloomberg.

For the whole year, sales of automobiles in U.S They are likely to stand at 14.9 million vehicles, up 2.5 percent from coronavirus days in 2020, according to Cox Automotive. Automakers typically sell more than 16 million vehicles a year.

Chasing profit

The chip shortage forced GM to allocate the supply to their vehicles more profitable. The sales Q4 for the Chevy Silverado fell more than 30 percent and the GMC Sierra by 21 percent, but a spokesperson said the company was still selling more full-size trucks than anyone.

The sales Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade increased, being the most profitable models of the company.

The good results of Toyota in 2021 they were favored by the sales of sedans like the Corolla and Camry. The RAV4 remained the vehicle most sold out from the manufacturer, although their sales they fell 5 percent on the year. The sales Corolla and Camry increased 5 and 6.6 percent, respectively.

The sales Nissan’s sales fell 20 percent in the fourth quarter, but were up 8.7 percent on the year. The small SUVs Nissan Rogue and Kicks were very sold.

Judy Wheeler, Nissan’s vice president of sales, said the company has been working to map the scarce semiconductors to the vehicles it needs most, but that isn’t always possible. He compared the puzzle to lining up the colors in a Rubik’s cube.

“Every month it has gotten stronger,” he said. “Our next quarter will be better in terms of production. We believe that we will return to normal production levels. It may not be the ideal mix, but production levels will be normal. “

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