GM regains top position in US car sales in 2022, surpassing Toyota | Reuters

(Reuters) – General Motors (GM) has retaken the top spot in U.S. car sales in 2022, surpassing Toyota.

General Motors (GM) has surpassed Toyota in 2022 to retake the top spot in U.S. car sales. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

According to data released by automakers on the 4th, GM’s sales in 2022 increased by 2.5% to 2,274,088 units. The easing of inventory shortages of new vehicles and robust demand for GM vehicles and trucks provided a tailwind.

On the other hand, Toyota, which won the top spot in 2009, sold 2,108,458 units last year. Sales of hot-selling sports utility vehicles (SUVs) fell 8.6%, affected by inventory shortages.

Industry-wide U.S. vehicle sales are expected to hit about 13.9 million units in 2022, down 8% from 2021 and 20% from their peak in 2016, according to Cox Automotive.

Asian manufacturers were particularly hard hit by soaring raw material costs and shortages of semiconductors.

“Toyota remains one of the most squeezed manufacturers in terms of inventories,” said Charlie Chesborough, senior economist at Cox Automotive.

In November last year, Toyota revised its parent company’s full-year global production plan downward.

But Toyota executives said there were some positive signs and that inventory build-up was steady, albeit at a slow pace.

“We are optimistic that inventory levels will continue to improve in the first quarter and the rest of the year,” said Andrew Gilleland, senior vice president of automotive operations at Toyota North America.

U.S. new car sales totaled 1.26 million in December 2022, an annualized rate of 13.31 million, according to data from Wards Intelligence.

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Analysts worry that the price hike will affect new car sales in 2023.

Availability is a “very real problem,” said David Christo, group vice president of the Toyota division at Toyota North America.

Online auto information company Truecar said automakers will need to resume sales incentives that were suspended during the coronavirus outbreak.

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