In 2021, the Japanese automaker breaks General Motors’ 90-year dominance in the US market, selling more than 2.3 million vehicles.
Toyota has overtaken General Motors as the most popular car manufacturer in the United States, ending GM’s 90-year reign of terror. In 2021, the Japanese automaker sold over 2.3 million vehicles in the United States, up 10% from the previous year and 1,00,000 more than General Motors, which had held the top spot in its home country since 1931.
GM drops below number one spot for first time since 1931
Toyota saw sales grow 10 percent year on year in US
Toyota’s success was led by the Corolla, which saw a 5% increase in sales, and the Camry, which saw a 6.6 percent increase in sales. However, sales of its most popular car in the United States, the RAV4, fell 5% year over year.
Following a 43 percent drop in the fourth quarter, GM vehicle sales fell 13 percent to 2.2 million, with the usually popular Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck seeing a 30 percent drop in sales.
The global semiconductor crisis, according to GM, is to blame.
Toyota’s success can be attributed to better supply-chain planning
Toyota’s success is thought to be due to its global supply-chain preparation and stockpiling prior to the automotive industry’s shortages.
When COVID-19 first hit, the Japanese company, which was the top-seller in the UK in September 2021, kept its orders and supplies intact, whereas other manufacturers cancelled or reduced their supplies.
Toyota predicts that once supply-chain issues are resolved, it will be difficult to maintain its lead in the US, and that competitors will regain ground.
On outselling GM, Jack Hollis, senior vice-president of Toyota’s US sales division, said, “That is not our goal.”
On a conference call with reporters, Hollis added, “Being number one is never a focus or priority,” but maintained that the brand was “grateful.”
Meanwhile, General Motors says it will rebound after a solid year in terms of sales.
“I wouldn’t rush out and get a ‘we’re number one’ tattoo if I were [Toyota],” GM spokesman Jim Cain said.
Following its decision to stop selling cars in Europe and Russia and instead focus on mobility solutions, GM will place a greater emphasis on profitability rather than sales numbers.
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The plans of Toyota for the Indian market
Shifting the focus to the Indian market, Toyota began 2022 by raising prices across the board, citing rising input costs as the reason. Toyota is currently preparing to release the facelifted Camry and the Hilux pickup truck. Toyota recently teased the updated Camry with a short teaser that hinted at its impending arrival. Meanwhile, some dealers have begun taking unofficial reservations for the Hilux, with a launch expected soon.