February 4, 2023

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General Motors regains the lead in American car sales from Toyota

Jan 4 (Reuters) – General Motors Corp (GM.N) On Wednesday, it reported a 2.5% increase in new vehicle sales in the United States in 2022, outperforming Toyota Motor Corp. (7203.T)This has helped mitigate inventory shortages and strong demand for its cars and trucks.

General Motors, which lost its spot as the largest automaker in the United States at the end of 2021 for the first time since 1931, said its annual sales rose to 2,274,088 vehicles last year, surpassing Toyota’s annual sales of 2,108,458 units in a closely watched race.

Inventory shortages, caused by rising material costs and an ongoing chip shortage, have extended into 2022, stalling production at many automakers, especially Asian brands, and driving up prices for cars and trucks.

Toyota was among those hit hard, forcing the automaker to lower its full-year production target in November. Data on Wednesday showed that sales of SUVs, a key segment, fell 8.6% in 2022.

Hyundai Motor America (005380.KS) On Wednesday, it said it sold 724,265 vehicles last year, down 2%.

Last year industry-wide US auto sales are expected to be about 13.9 million units, down 8% from 2021 and 20% from the peak in 2016, according to industry consultant Cox Automotive.

Some industry observers are also worried that price hikes by automakers to ease inflationary pressures and higher interest rates will affect new car sales in the new year.

“We expect 2023 to hold a high level of risk and uncertainty as many markets could deal with a recession,” said Jeff Schuster, head of global forecasts at LMC Automotive.

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Automakers will need to start incentivising buyers, a trend that stalled briefly during the pandemic as manufacturers and dealers struggled to meet demand, auto marketplace TrueCar said.

Additional reporting by Aishwarya Nair and Nathan Gomez in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar

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