WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 (Reuters) – Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) outperformed General Motors Co (GM.N) in the United States in the first nine months of 2021 when the Detroit automaker faced production problems of the semiconductor had to fight chip deficiency.
Toyota sold 1.86 million vehicles in the first nine months compared to 1.78 million or just over 80,000 vehicles from GM, data released Friday showed.
GM has been the largest vehicle seller in the United States since 1931 when it overtook Ford Motor Co (FN), according to industry publication Automotive News.
GM was hit hard by the chip crisis, but said that most of its North American plants would be in regular production starting next week.
GM said its US sales fell nearly 33% to 446,997 vehicles in the third quarter, the worst quarter of sales in more than a decade, according to Automotive News. GM’s sales were up 0.1% for the first nine months. The stock, which has gained more than a quarter in value this year, closed 0.8% on Friday.
Toyota, the world’s largest automaker by volume, said its US sales rose 1.4% to 566,005 vehicles for the quarter and rose 27.9% for the first nine months.
GM spokesman Jim Cain said Friday, “We definitely wish we had a few more semiconductors and I’ll bet Toyota wishes they had a few more pickups and SUVs. Nobody should make long-term judgments about the market,” based on the sales figures affected by the chip crisis.
A Toyota spokesman said US sales in 2021 were an anomaly due to the chip problem, and the automaker stressed that it never focused on being number 1 in terms of sales.
Cars are using chips in their infotainment systems as the pandemic has increased demand for chips as more people work from home and depend on smartphones and other electronics.
For the full year 2020, GM sold 2.55 million vehicles in the United States, compared to Toyota’s 2.11 million, which was ahead of Ford’s 2.04 million.
In the quarter, US sales of Nissan (7201.T) were down 10%, while US sales of Chrysler parent company Stellantis (STLA.MI) were down 19%.
Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bengaluru Editing by Maju Samuel and Matthew Lewis
Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.