The car that cares

2021 U.S. auto sales: A most unusual year

Once-a-year U.S. mild-car or truck sales edged just above 15 million and were being up 3.3 p.c in contrast with 2020. In advance of COVID-19 reared its head in 2020 and the microchip lack hit the yr soon after, 2019’s sales were being 17.1 million, the seventh-strongest yearly tally on report.

Motor Intelligence said December’s seasonally altered, annualized promoting price was 12.71 million, the next-cheapest of 2021 soon after September’s 12.38 million. That’s a steep decrease from the 18.5 million SAAR recorded in April.

Automakers last week claimed December or fourth-quarter sales that were being weighed down closely by inventory and creation troubles for the reason that of the pandemic. Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and Kia declined for the fifth-straight month.

Total fourth-quarter sales fell 21 p.c.

Right after submitting a acquire in November, Ford’s sales fell 17 p.c in December, however it was the top rated-promoting automaker in the U.S. for the quarter. GM’s inventory woes dragged its fourth-quarter sales down 43 p.c to give the automaker its worst quarter because 2009 and next-worst yr because 1952. Stellantis also cited offer chain troubles for its double-digit drop in the fourth quarter.

Tesla’s fourth-quarter sales soared about 69 p.c to an believed seventy eight,seven-hundred, even though scaled-down-volume Mitsubishi rose 68 p.c to 24,861.

Speaking with reporters on a meeting connect with last week, Toyota Motor North The united states executives ongoing to downplay the Japanese automaker’s to start with U.S. sales crown as “not sustainable” and said they experienced no programs for marketing and advertising on the accomplishment for the reason that of the extenuating circumstances. They also said buyer desire continues to run considerably ahead of automakers’ qualities to keep up, accounting for the company’s sharp December drop of extra than thirty p.c.

“Out of the 174,000 automobiles we offered in December, almost everything was offer constrained,” said Bob Carter, Toyota Motor North America’s longtime head of sales.

He said Toyota sellers finished the month with much less than a few days’ offer on hand, even though Lexus sellers experienced just four days’ offer. “That’s the cheapest vendor stocking amount I have ever noticed. Everything is lower one-digit days’ offer, so plainly the desire is quite robust.”