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General Motors 90-year reign as top US car seller ends
Published 20 hours ago BBC



US car giant General Motors has lost its title as America's top car seller for the first time in 90 years.
Japan's Toyota claimed the top spot, selling more than 2.3 million vehicles last year, up 10%.
GM said its sales, which fell 13%, were hurt by the widespread shortage of semiconductor parts that has been affecting the car industry.

The Detroit company had ranked as the number one US car seller since 1931 and vowed it would bounce back.
"I wouldn't rush out if I were (Toyota) and get a 'We're No 1' tattoo," spokesman Jim Cain said, according to Reuters.

Overall, analysts expect the number of new cars sold in the US to have increased roughly 2% in 2021 compared to 2020, when buyers were reeling from the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

But purchases remain depressed compared to their pre-pandemic levels, as companies grapple with supply chain woes, problems that have also pushed prices higher for consumers.

"The key constraint for sales continues to be reduced inventory levels as a result of the semiconductor shortage," GM chief economist Elaine Buckberg said in a statement discussing the firm's sales and outlook for 2022.
GM sold roughly 2.2 million vehicles last year down from 2.5 million in 2020, relying on its profitable pick-up trucks and SUVs to boost its bottom line.

Toyota, which saw strong sales of its hybrids and other models, has been less affected than some other car makers by the shortage of chips, thanks to its decision to build up a stockpile after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. But it has also been forced to cut production amid the shortages.
But America's top car companies have been ceding ground to international rivals well before the pandemic-related snarls.

Ford, General Motors and Chrysler once accounted for as much as 90% of all US car sales and still claimed more than half as recently as 2008. But that has slid lower.

Toyota's Camry has been the top-selling passenger car in the US for 20 years, while its Rav4 has ranked as the best-selling SUV for five years.

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General Motors No1 US Best Seller Since 1931 wow that's a long time, l hope gm Electric zero-zero-zero will be that good in the future a tough act to follow.
 

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90 Years Mary, 90 Years.

It is not that Toyota had more Chips, it is that Toyota was Ready.

March 2020 Toyota didn't call "All" of it's "Just on Time" suppliers and say "We are shutting down, we no longer need your product, even if you Can build it."

It is a Good Thing GM is now a "Tech Company" and no longer a Automotive Company.
 

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Well... Toyota has a very balanced vehicle lineup. GM has a very truck and SUV heavy lineup.
But this past year is a fluke, I like to think. Toyota had foreseen the chip shortage and made adjustments so far in advance that they were impacted minimally, compared to the rest of the industry. So they simply had the products available.

But for 365 days, Toyota can certainly claim the #1 position. They earned it.

Let's see what happens on day 366.
 

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90 Years Mary, 90 Years.

It is not that Toyota had more Chips, it is that Toyota was Ready.

March 2020 Toyota didn't call "All" of it's "Just on Time" suppliers and say "We are shutting down, we no longer need your product, even if you Can build it."

It is a Good Thing GM is now a "Tech Company" and no longer a Automotive Company.
A pretty arrogant response from a company that just got its arse handed to them in sales for the first time in a century

Honestly its been a long time coming Gm has been shrinking it's lineup and global reach for a good part of the last decade it's only a matter of time ....
Yeah Mother Mary and friends got caught with their pants down. And the crazy shrinking thing is that they in turn have a bevy or slew of EV stuff up and coming..... lol. :)
 

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Yeah Mother Mary and friends got caught with their pants down. And the crazy shrinking thing is that they in turn have a bevy or slew of EV stuff up and coming..... lol. :)
We'll see if the move to EV strategy works for GM or not in the next 5-10 years

If it doesn't work however .....

geez they are in for a world of hurt it will make 2009 look like a party by comparison
 

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Toyota had the benefit of the Tsunami from several years ago to prepare them for a disaster. Good for them. Enjoy it while it lasts. But it's not like GM screwed up and Toyota kicked everybody's butt. It's a fluke. Toyota learned from their prior situation and it paid off. Everybody else will learn the same thing now and the market will rebalance in a year or two.
 

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We'll see if the move to EV strategy works for GM or not in the next 5-10 years

If it doesn't work however .....

geez they are in for a world of hurt it will make 2009 look like a party by comparison
That's what I keep thinking. If buyers aren't up to this onslaught of EV from them and no ICE alternative in the same showroom they're(gm) in for a really rude awakening. The EV zealots keep saying "yeah but it's the future" maybe..., but at what speed and acceptability rate does this transition they think is coming end up occurring especially for those betting the farm on it ie. gm.
 

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Sophomoric response. I think all this future product hype has this guy feeling his oats. In reality, dealerships look like ghost towns and their traditionally reliable vehicles have a major engine flaw with the lifters; not to mention content typical of vehicles 10 years ago are on constraint.
 

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A pretty arrogant response from a company that just got its arse handed to them in sales for the first time in a century

Honestly its been a long time coming Gm has been shrinking it's lineup and global reach for a good part of the last decade it's only a matter of time ....
The title itself is meaningless. It's what the shift represents, even if temporary, as you suggest, VS Ute 5Litre.

When GM took over the top sales spot for the first time in 1927 (I believe), I'm sure the Ford folks saw it as an anomaly. "GM got lucky." And to Ford's credit, GM lost the title to Ford in the following year. But the shift I think reflected the longer-term trajectory of the two companies way back then. Sloan's GM did a better job at manufacturing, design, engineering and marketing, and in 1931, GM took the top spot for nine decades. That was no accident; it was the actualization of Sloan's amazing management skills!

While some macro-economic issues created unusual circumstances in 2021, I'm confident I'm not alone by not being entirely surprised by Toyota's sales victory in the US. (Funny that Toyota is more humble in victory than GM is in defeat!) I had a similar reaction in 2008 when Toyota took the top global sales spot. I thought the same thing in 2019 when Ram overtook Silverado, too. How 'bout 1998 when Cadillac forever lost the US luxury sales crown? GM simply is a bad student of history. (...Where is that utterly useless Rick Wagoner 29% lapel pin from 2002?)

GM would do well to stop with the empty bravado-reaction formation?-and focus on the task of delivering excellent vehicles in a timely fashion. I nearly gagged on my morning joe when MB recently had the audacity to claim GM would be the #1 EV seller in the US by 2025 on CNBC! Is MB poking cheap Mary Jane in the 313?!
 

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Toyota had the benefit of the Tsunami from several years ago to prepare them for a disaster. Good for them. Enjoy it while it lasts. But it's not like GM screwed up and Toyota kicked everybody's butt. It's a fluke. Toyota learned from their prior situation and it paid off. Everybody else will learn the same thing now and the market will rebalance in a year or two.
Like you said, Toyota had their hail Mary with the tsunami, got mopped up by the competition and then everything returned to normal once Toyota's supply chain came back online. Toyota learned the hard way just like GM and the rest of the industry is doing now.

Every time any competitor does something that is perceived to be better on GMI we get these unrealistic calls for GM to match anything and everything; GM must be the gold standard in everything. Just like the Toyota GR8 - when that came out GMI was full of "GM has to make one of these", "GM is a failure as they didn't have one of these first" - and, turns out the GR86 is a sales dud. Over and over.

Does GM do everything right? Certainly not. Could they have foreseen this chip shortage? Maybe - but, every car make out there saw what happened to Toyota and no doubt did a cost benefit analysis and most decided against it. Hindsight is 20-20. I'd be more impressed if someone on GMI said GM needs to stockpile parts before Covid struck and justified the cost. I'm certain most on GMI would have called GM foolish to make such stockpiles which would've taken away from product development. Toyota has very deep pockets from their success that gives them disposable cash to build stockpiles, sadly, GM and most other companies don't have that luxury.

Would've been nice if that activist investor that forced GM to give away billions of dollars (was it Kirk Kekorian?) had instead said "invest it in part stockpiles".

A little bravado never hurt anyone.
 

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90 Years Mary, 90 Years.

It is not that Toyota had more Chips, it is that Toyota was Ready.

March 2020 Toyota didn't call "All" of it's "Just on Time" suppliers and say "We are shutting down, we no longer need your product, even if you Can build it."

It is a Good Thing GM is now a "Tech Company" and no longer a Automotive Company.
Perhaps this is the Pearl Harbor moment GM needed to assure future EV success.
 

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Well... Toyota has a very balanced vehicle lineup. GM has a very truck and SUV heavy lineup.
But this past year is a fluke, I like to think. Toyota had foreseen the chip shortage and made adjustments so far in advance that they were impacted minimally, compared to the rest of the industry. So they simply had the products available.

But for 365 days, Toyota can certainly claim the #1 position. They earned it.

Let's see what happens on day 366.
Plus, Toyota has balance in different drivetrains while GM is going whole-government-central-planning-hog into electrics. I don't know how many customers there are like me out there, but as I've said I'd consider a hybrid but I would not want an electric.

Look at that stranded-in-a-blizzard mess on I-95 in Virginia. Where, by the way, I didn't see any great rush of government resources coming out to bring gas, blankets, porta-potties, water, energy bars, etc. But five gallons of gas would be easy, charging an electric I think would be a bit more difficult in such circumstances.
 

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Toyota had the benefit of the Tsunami from several years ago to prepare them for a disaster. Good for them. Enjoy it while it lasts. But it's not like GM screwed up and Toyota kicked everybody's butt. It's a fluke. Toyota learned from their prior situation and it paid off. Everybody else will learn the same thing now and the market will rebalance in a year or two.
Yes, but will Mary learn how "Not only to overcome adversity, but how to Catch a Leader?"

This isn't a 1-2 Year thing, this isn't a "Since a Tsunami thing", this isn't even a "Since a Bankruptcy" thing, this is a 90 Year Thing.
 

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...This isn't a 1-2 Year thing, this isn't a "Since a Tsunami thing", this isn't even a "Since a Bankruptcy" thing, this is a 90 Year Thing.
Agreed.

Your perspective, InCogKneeToe, I think explains why some people at first glance appear particularly critical of GM compared to, say, Toyota. But your POV also explains why I don't think the criticism is misplaced. As you indirectly suggest, but as I nonetheless would agree, Toyota's tsunami struggles are not parallel to GM and the current chip shortage, despite the fact that every major automaker faced supply constraints over the past year and a half.
 

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Hindsight is 20-20. I'd be more impressed if someone on GMI said GM needs to stockpile parts before Covid struck and justified the cost. I'm certain most on GMI would have called GM foolish to make such stockpiles which would've taken away from product development. Toyota has very deep pockets from their success that gives them disposable cash to build stockpiles, sadly, GM and most other companies don't have that luxury.
It's not that Toyota has deep pockets (they do).
It's that they are so deeply integrated with all their suppliers, that their forecasting saw this shortage coming, and Toyota was able to stockpile and direct suppliers accordingly before the rest of the auto industry could make a move... any move.

Tesla handled it differently. They essentially used a different supplier and wrote code to bypass the chip supply shortfall. They found an alternative.

The rest of the world deleted features, shut down factories, delayed models, etc. And while Toyota still had to idle factories, their impact was smaller than the rest of the industry.
 

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Agreed.

Your perspective, InCogKneeToe, I think explains why some people at first glance appear particularly critical of GM compared to, say, Toyota. But your POV also explains why I don't think the criticism is misplaced. As you indirectly suggest, but as I nonetheless would agree, Toyota's tsunami struggles are not parallel to GM and the current chip shortage, despite the fact that every major automaker faced supply constraints over the past year and a half.
The reason that I wrote this as "Over Time" is very simplistic. Toyota came to NA in 1957. But growing up, I never saw many Toyota's. It wasn't until the 80's that Toyota took off Sales Wise. Every Year focusing on "What the Customer was Asking for" first, "Bean Counters" second.

Slowly Toyota Grew Market Share, from Where? From the Big 3. Their attitude of "You will drive what We build" had to change and didn't. Toyota even did it while Hyundai/Kia were doing it as well.

The incredible Shrinking General Motors. It was theirs to lose, and they lost it. Many, Many years in the making.
 

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The reason that I wrote this as "Over Time" is very simplistic. Toyota came to NA in 1957. But growing up, I never saw many Toyota's. It wasn't until the 80's that Toyota took off Sales Wise. Every Year focusing on "What the Customer was Asking for" first, "Bean Counters" second.

Slowly Toyota Grew Market Share, from Where? From the Big 3. Their attitude of "You will drive what We build" had to change and didn't. Toyota even did it while Hyundai/Kia were doing it as well.

The incredible Shrinking General Motors. It was theirs to lose, and they lost it. Many, Many years in the making.

Toyota's rise is methodical.
They adopted and adapted American manufacturing techniques during the Japanese reconstruction period. And then they improved upon it. And they haven't stopped improving upon it since then.

In 1975, Toyota overtook VW as the most popular import in the United States car market and hasn't looked back.

You also conveniently forgot that American car manufacturers built such shoddy product for decades, under the mistaken belief that Americans would replace their cars every 2-3 years, so why bother making a high quality car in the first place. Toyota built extremely high quality cars, and they still do. Their reputation was built upon DECADES of reinforcing that.

Give credit when credit is due. Americans not only fumbled the ball, but they completely booted it out of the stadium. Not only did they allow Toyota to gain a foothold, they also allowed Mercedes, BMW, and Audi to make significant headway in the high margin luxury market where no legacy American automaker really competes anymore. They allowed to let Lexus in the door as well!! Lexus ate into the Germans marketshare as well, but the Germans found way to compete. Americans are still trying to find a way.

And yes, Hyundai/Kia are making significant inroads as well. But GM doesn't even have a competent sedan or hatch to effectively compete. GM and Ford have a very SUV heavy lineup; it's unbalanced.
 
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