Toyota replaces General Motors as the best-selling automaker in the U.S. in 2021

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The Toyota Motor Corporation logo will be displayed at the company’s Mega Web car theme park in Tokyo, Japan on Monday, November 1, 2021.

Ota Kiyoshi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Detroit-Toyota replaced General Motors as the best-selling automaker in the U.S. in 2021, marking the first time since 1931 that the Detroit automaker was not the best-selling auto company in the U.S.

This also marks the first time that a non-native automaker has topped the list in the United States.

Toyota was able to better manage supply chain issues, allowing it to win General Motors’s throne for the first time in 90 years. The continued shortage of semiconductor chips has caused occasional plant shutdowns and led to record lows for car inventories in 2021.

General Motors said on Tuesday that its vehicle sales in the United States in 2021 were 2.2 million units, a year-on-year decrease of 12.9%. In contrast, Toyota said it sold 2.3 million vehicles in the United States last year, an increase of 10.4% compared to 2020. The difference in sales between the two automakers was 114,034 units.

According to data from the industry publication Automotive News, General Motors has been the largest auto seller in the United States since it surpassed Ford in 1931.

With the exception of Ford, which sold 1.7 million vehicles as of November, most major automakers plan to announce their total sales for the fourth quarter and 2021 on Tuesday. It is estimated that new sales of young cars will be about 15 million in 2021.

Due to market volatility, industry analysts and forecasters have mixed expectations for 2022 sales. Their number ranges from approximately 15.2 million to approximately 16 million or better.


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