GM Loses Spot as No. 1 U.S. Automaker for the First Time since 1931 | National Review

GM Loses Spot as No. 1 U.S. Automaker for the First Time since 1931 | National Review


Toyota cars on the assembly line at the company’s Tsutsumi plant in Toyota, Japan, in 2017. (Toru Hanai/Reuters)

For the first time since 1931, General Motors was dislodged as the U.S.’s top-selling car company. Toyota’s 2.3 million–vehicle sales in 2021 ranked highest in the country, up 10 percent from the previous year. The shift in market position underscores the ongoing impact of the semiconductor shortage.

The industry as a whole suffered a significant output shortfall, with sales down 20 percent in the fourth quarter despite elevated demand. While the full-year number was slightly above the pandemic lows of 2020, it still notched a historically low 14.9 million. As the world’s largest automaker, Toyota has the scale to lock in orders of scarce computer chips, and its global footprint has allowed it to weather Covid disruptions that continue to crop up around the world. U.S. automakers, on the other hand, faced production delays in the third quarter due to insufficient chip supplies.

The persistent supply-chain issues have pushed up average car prices to a record $45,872 — a 15 percent increase in one year. These price pressures hit GM especially hard, as the U.S. company recorded an industry-high average price of more than $50,000 per vehicle.





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Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.