General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and its dealers delivered 2.2 million vehicles in the US during 2021 with the ongoing inventory shortage caused by semiconductor supply issues resulting in a year-over-year decrease of -13%. Results were helped by strong pickup truck and SUV sales Combined sales of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra LD and HD were 768,689. The company’s share of the retail truck market in 2021 was approximately 39%, according to J.D. Power PIN estimates. Leaving aside individual brands, preliminary data show that overall Toyota* is the number one retail brand for the 10th consecutive year. GM’ Q4 sales dropped -43% y-o-y to 441,000.
The GM pickup claim is ~10 points higher than the next closest competitor, the Ford F-Series. However, GM is combing the sales of two brands – Chevrolet and GMC. Ford F-Series has led the full-size pickup truck market for 45 years running. By using the combined numbers, GM has led the industry in retail sales in the full-size pickup segment every year since 2003, according to J.D. Power. GM commercial fleet sales of full-size pickups increased 10%, while Medium Duty trucks were up 30%. Commercial sales of GM full-size SUVs (up 59%) and midsize pickups (up 37%) also increased during 2021. Another misleading use of the combined number comes with Ram. The Ram pickup truck easily beat sales of the Chevrolet Silverado. During 2021 Ram sold 569,388 pickups; Silverado 529,765.
Both GMC and Chevrolet are preparing all-electric pickups, including the Chevrolet Silverado EV, which will be revealed virtually on Jan. 5, during the Consumer Electronics Show – a segment where it is trailing Ford with its sold-out Lightning EV pickup. Ford said today that it is planning to nearly double production capacity of the all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup to 150,000 vehicles per year at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan, to meet soaring customer demand. Orders begin January 5th. Deliveries start this spring. Ford is sitting on 200,000 “reservations” for the Lighting.
GM expects economic growth in the U.S. and improving semiconductor supplies to increase U.S. total light industry sales from around 15 million in 2021 to around 16 million in 2022. “The key constraint for sales continues to be reduced inventory levels as a result of the semiconductor shortage. Those inventory levels are beginning to recover against a backdrop of strong fundamental demand conditions, with ample job openings, high household savings and low interest rates,” said Elaine Buckberg, GM chief economist. “Consumers want to drive as much as before the pandemic, based on recent high levels of vehicle usage. High vehicle usage and deferred sales mean pent up demand for new vehicles in the millions and building. That pent up demand will support sales as vehicle supply improves,” Buckberg claimed.
*For calendar year 2021, TMNA reported U.S. sales of 2,332,262 vehicles, an increase of 10.4% on a volume basis and an increase of 11.5% on a DSR basis. General Motors said 2021 sales were at 2,218,228 vehicles.