2022 intends to bring a lot of change and apparently, that goes as far as the auto industry. Now, after remaining America’s largest automaker for nearly a century, General Motors is about to be dethroned by Toyota.
According to CNN Business, Toyota is about to become the leader in U.S. auto sales for the first time. It marks a pivotal moment for industry representatives as General Motors has held that title for almost 100 years. As the outlet states, it signals that American automakers continue to lose their dominance within their own market.
While Outsiders can expect the final results on Tuesday, things aren’t looking good for General Motors. As per the outlet, Toyota logged at No. 4 in U.S. auto sales as early as 2005, and since then, their grip’s only gotten stronger.
Previously, both Ford and General Motors held the lead over the Japan-based company. However, by 2021, CNN reports GM, combined with both Ford and Stellantis (the European automaker that owns Chrysler), saw a combined 38% of the U.S. market within the first nine months of the year.
We can only assume Toyota will continue to hold its position above General Motors. The first three quarters of 2021 saw the American automaker consistently trailing behind the former. Due to ongoing shortages from the pandemic, the outlet states that GM will predictably remain behind Toyota in sales. However, both companies will likely report significant drops in sales.
Additionally, despite the predicted decrease in sales for both companies, GM appears to really be lagging. While forecasters believe Toyota will see a 31% overall drop, they’re predicting GM will see nearly a 50% decrease in sales, honing in on 46%.
General Motors Expects to Take the Lead Back From Toyota Shortly
Fortunately for our American-made brand, General Motors suggested they don’t expect to lag behind for too long. After all, Jessica Caldwell, the executive director of industry insights at Edmunds, said, “I wouldn’t expect Toyota to keep this lead. It’s not like GM is doing something magical all these years. They just have more channels to sell in and more brands.”
Further, GM blamed the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage for this year’s drop in sales. In speaking to the issue, the company said, “The semiconductor shortage, among other things, created an unprecedented set of circumstances in 2021.”
That said, while GM will likely lose its lead on American sales this year, the auto industry overall continues to take major hits among the ongoing pandemic.
As we know, the chip shortage resulted in decreased or even halted production of vehicles at numerous companies and plants nationally. Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst with Cox Automotive, confirmed for Outsiders, “The chips are still the wild card for this year.”
Nevertheless, GM has managed to find a bright side among ongoing losses. The company stated that despite international issues within the auto industry, “GM extended its lead in full-size pickups and SUVs. And 2022 begins with a gradually improving supply chain.”
Now, only time, and the direction of the pandemic, will tell where auto sales go from here.