2021 Auto Sales Are In: Ford Shares Surge On F-150 Demand, Toyota Overtakes GM In U.S.

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Jan 04, 2022 - 08:20 PM

Auto sales data for 2021 is finally in the books and the year was marked by some major changes in the industry's landscape while automakers struggled do deal with the Covid recovery and an ongoing semiconductor shortage. 

Of note on Tuesday are shares of Ford, which are up about 11% after the automaker announced its intentions to double capacity for its Electric F-150. 

For the first time, Toyota overtook General Motors as the U.S.'s top selling car company, the WSJ reported on Tuesday morning. Toyota outsold GM by roughly 114,000 vehicles, the report says, selling 2.3 million vehicles - a figure up 10% from 2020, which was mired by the effects of Covid. 

Despite the great years, Toyota's sales fell 30% in the fourth quarter. Honda wasn't far behind, with sales rising 9% for the year but down 21.5% for the fourth quarter. 

Toyota told Reuters it is "grateful" for its loyal customers, but "being No. 1 is never a focus or priority."

GM spokesman Jim Cain also had a tongue-in-cheek response to the news, stating: "I wouldn't rush out if I were (Toyota), and get a 'We're No. 1' tattoo."

GM's numbers were less attractive, with the company's sales plunging 13% to 2.2 million vehicles sold in 2021. The automaker's sales were down an astonishing 43% in the fourth quarter due to chip shortages, Bloomberg reported. GM is forecasting 16 million vehicles sold for the upcoming year. 

Tesla, as we reported days ago, sold more than 900,000 vehicles globally for the year. 

Hyundai also had an impressive year, selling 738,081 vehicles in the year, marking a 19% rise in sales from the year prior. Overall, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Hyundai all grew sales versus U.S. automakers, likely as a result of better access to semiconductor chips. 

In sum, almost 15 million vehicles were sold in the U.S. last year.

Thomas King, president of data and analytics at J.D. Power said about the coming year that prices would stay elevated: “Pent-up consumer demand will keep inventory levels near historical lows.”