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Auto Sales In The United States Fell In Q1; Toyota Outsold GM

Auto Sales In The United States Fell In Q1; Toyota Outsold GM
On Friday, U.S. automakers reported a drop in domestic sales in the first quarter, as the entire sector was hit by chip shortages and supply chain delays.
Toyota, which will overtake General Motors as the top-selling automaker in the United States in 2021, outsold GM in the first quarter thanks to growing demand for its Lexus hybrid and electric vehicles.
Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors of South Korea, as well as Mazda Motor Corp of Japan, all reported a dip in overall U.S. quarterly auto sales. Electrified vehicle retail sales increased 241 per cent year over year in the January-March period, according to Hyundai.
"If gas prices remain high, that's going to continue to push consumers toward green technology," said Randy Parker, Hyundai's senior vice president for U.S. sales.
"Skyrocketing gas prices were top of mind for consumers in March, but the lack of inventory is what ultimately depressed new vehicle sales in the first quarter," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of insights.
She predicted that inventory problems would remain long into the rest of the year, owing to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which would exacerbate supply chain issues.
In the United States, where trucks and SUVs account for around three-quarters of new vehicle sales, Jack Hollis, senior vice president of automotive operations at Toyota Motor North America, said he does not expect a big, long-term shift in the vehicle market.
The sales of some large SUVs and trucks have remained steady. Sales of GM's largest and most costly SUVs, the Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade, increased year over year in the third quarter.
GM's quarterly sales decreased 20.1 per cent to 512,846 vehicles, while the company's stock dipped 1.8 per cent.
Improved semiconductor supplies aided production in the quarter, but because to high demand, GM expects inventory to remain low throughout the year. The strong job situation in the United States is encouraging to automakers.
"Normally, a robust U.S. economy would translate into light-vehicle sales in the 17-million area," the company's chief economist said in a statement.
According to Wards Intelligence, new vehicle sales in the United States totaled 1.25 million in March, for an annual pace of 13.33 million.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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