Toyota gross sales leap, however G.M. and Ford’s rebounds are weaker.
Normal Motors reported a modest rise in automobile gross sales in North America for the primary quarter, however its operations proceed to be hampered by a scarcity of laptop chips.
G.M. stated on Thursday that it offered 642,250 vehicles and light-weight vehicles within the first three months of the 12 months, up simply 4 p.c despite the fact that gross sales a 12 months in the past slowed sharply because the coronavirus pandemic took maintain.
In contrast, Toyota Motor confirmed a robust rebound in gross sales in contrast with a 12 months in the past. The Japanese firm reported that gross sales in North America jumped 22 p.c within the first three months of 2021, to 603,066 vehicles and light-weight vehicles. Its March gross sales had been a document excessive for that month.
Toyota’s massive leap helped it outsell Ford Motor, which has additionally been hit by the semiconductor scarcity. Ford’s gross sales within the first quarter had been up simply 1 p.c, to 521,334. Stellantis — the corporate shaped by the merger of Fiat Chrysler and France’s Peugeot SA — reported its U.S. gross sales elevated 5 p.c within the first quarter.
Ford and G.M. each loved substantial will increase in gross sales to particular person prospects at dealerships whereas reporting declines in gross sales to fleet operators like rental automobile firms and governments.
G.M. and Ford have needed to halt or gradual manufacturing at a handful of vegetation. G.M. has resorted to creating some autos with out elements containing laptop chips with the intention of putting in these elements earlier than sale when provide improves.
In an announcement, G.M. stated it hoped its technique for constructing vehicles with out some elements would assist it “shortly meet robust anticipated buyer demand throughout the 12 months.”
That method to constructing vehicles “underscores the dire nature” of the semiconductor scarcity, an analyst at CFRA Analysis, Garrett Nelson, stated in a report. “One of many key questions is how significantly better the U.S. auto gross sales restoration can get from right here.”
The chip scarcity is mirrored in G.M.’s unusually low stock of 334,628 autos. That’s about 76,000 lower than on the finish of the fourth quarter and is half the variety of autos its sellers held in inventory a 12 months in the past. Ford’s stock was 56,100 decrease than on the finish of 2020.
G.M.’s sluggish gross sales had been confined to its Chevrolet model, whose gross sales fell 2 p.c within the first quarter. That included a 13 p.c decline in gross sales of its full-size Silverado pickup truck, a crucial revenue maker for the corporate. The Buick, Cadillac and G.M.C. manufacturers reported robust gross sales within the quarter.
Toyota additionally reported a drop in gross sales of its full-size pickup, the Tundra. However the decline was greater than offset by massive will increase in gross sales of its RAV4, Highlander and 4Runner sport-utility autos and vehicles from its Lexus luxurious model.
Additionally on Thursday, Honda Motor reported its first-quarter gross sales in North America had elevated 16 p.c, to 347,091 autos.