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US auto sales: GM is top-selling automaker in 2022 in fourth quarter stronger than expected

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Auto sales grew more than expected for General Motors (GM) in the last quarter of 2022. GM regained the sales crown of toyota engine (TM) for the full year after overcoming a sharp decline in the first six months.


On Wednesday, GM reported a 41% year-over-year increase in US new vehicle sales for the fourth quarter, better than expected. Toyota reported a 13% increase in fourth-quarter sales in the US market, but missed estimates. Both auto giants also increased fourth-quarter sales, a sign that the supply situation continues to improve.

Honda engine (HMC) also beat US sales estimates for the full year. parent chrysler Stellantis (STLA) beat both fourth-quarter and full-year estimates. ford (F) should follow shortly.

Analysts at JD Power and LMC Automotive expect total U.S. new vehicle sales to increase in the fourth quarter after falling in each of the previous quarters of 2022 amid persistent supply disruptions.

Ahead of Wednesday’s results, analysts at Cox Automotive had predicted that General Motors would take the full-year sales crown in the United States. Japan’s Toyota outperformed GM in the United States for the first time in 2021 amid car chip shortages. Honda looks set for the biggest sales decline in 2022, Cox said.

Globally, tesla (TSLA) deliveries reached a record 405,278 in the fourth quarter, the company said on Monday. The EV giant does not break down sales by country. Tesla missed fourth-quarter forecasts despite aggressive year-end incentives. TSLA shares fell 12.2% on Tuesday to a new two-year low. Shares rallied 5.1% on Wednesday.

Here’s how other automakers performed in the fourth quarter. Cox Automotive’s estimates show fourth-quarter and full-year sales volume, as well as year-over-year sales growth or decline.

General Motors

Fourth quarter sales forecast: 613,904 vehicles, up 40.7% year-on-year. It would also be higher than the 555,580 vehicles GM sold in the third quarter.

Sales estimate for the year 2022: 2,253,641 vehicles, up 2.3% from 2021. In the first three quarters of 2022, GM sales were down 20%, down 15% and up 24% in sequential order.

Results: GM sold 623,261 vehicles in the fourth quarter, up 41% year-over-year. It sold 2.27 million last year, up 3% from 2021.

Robust fourth-quarter growth largely reflects easy offsetting, analysts note. GM’s quarterly sales hit a multi-year low in the fourth quarter of 2021 due to weak inventories caused by semiconductor shortages and supply chain issues.

The auto giant on Wednesday reported “the best sales year ever” for the previous generation Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, with 16,108 units sold in the fourth quarter and 38,120 for the full year.

But fourth-quarter sales of new-generation EVs were sluggish. GM delivered 86 units of the new Lyriq electric SUV, up from 36 in the third quarter. It delivered 72 units of the relatively new Hummer electric pickup, down from 411 in the third quarter. The automaker has been struggling to ramp up production of the new Lyriq and Hummer EVs, which are based on an all-new electric platform and battery architecture, branded Ultium.

GM shares rose 2.6% to 34.69 in Wednesday’s stock market action. Equities remain well below both the 50-day and 200-day moving averages.

Futures rise after stocks hit resistance

toyota engine

Fourth quarter sales forecast: 550,948 vehicles, up 16.1%.

Sales estimate for the year 2022: 2,122,665 vehicles, down 9% compared to 2021.

Results: Toyota sold 536,740 vehicles in the fourth quarter, up 13.1% year-over-year. The Japanese auto giant sold 2,108,458 vehicles for the full year, down 9.6% from 2021. Fourth-quarter sales were also higher than the 526,017 Toyota vehicles sold in the third quarter.

“Electrified” vehicles accounted for nearly 24% of 2022 sales, including all-electric, fuel cell, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Toyota Motor shares fell 0.8% on Wednesday, also below key technical levels.


Fourth quarter sales forecast: 466,447 vehicles, down 7.5%.

Sales estimate for the year 2022: 1,837,603 vehicles, down 2.9%.

Results: Come back later.

Ford shares rose 2.8% on Wednesday. The automaker announced Tuesday that the F-Series has retained the title of America’s best-selling vehicle in 2022 for the 41st year. Ford said it sold more than 640,000 F-Series trucks in 2022 – averaging at least one sale every 49 seconds.


Fourth quarter sales forecast: 342,894 vehicles, down 16.7% over the previous year.

Sales estimate for the year 2022: 1,542,301 vehicles, down 13.2% compared to 2021.

Results: Stellantis, which owns the Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Ram and Fiat brands, sold 347,669 vehicles in the fourth quarter, down 16%, and 1,547,076 vehicles in 2022, down 13%.

The company’s US plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) sales grew 21% in the fourth quarter of 2022 and 26% for the full year.

Stellantis shares rose 3.2% on Wednesday.


Fourth quarter sales forecast: 249,379 vehicles, down 13.2%.

Sales estimate for the year 2022: 977,636 vehicles, down 33.3%.

Results: Honda sold 983,507 vehicles for the year, down 32.9%. The Japanese auto giant sold 93,843 vehicles in December, down 10.7%, but did not provide a fourth-quarter total.

In a sales release on Wednesday, Honda noted that industry-wide supply disruptions persist.

“But we start 2023 with approximately double the available inventory of 2022 and the expectation that this means a healthy increase in sales this year,” said Mamadou Diallo, vice president of auto sales for American Honda Motor, in the statement.

Honda shares rose nearly 1% on Wednesday.

US auto sales will increase in the fourth quarter

As the fourth quarter of 2022 progressed, concerns about reduced demand mounted amid rising interest rates and the highest inflation in 40 years.

The month of December saw the used car retailer CarMax (KMX) warn of “vehicle accessibility issues”, while tesla (TSLA) offered a $7,500 discount for last-minute delivery in the United States.

Used car prices are dropping significantly, which may put some pressure on new vehicle sticker prices.

On the supply side, new vehicle inventories improved “modestly” in the fourth quarter, analysts at JD Power and LMC Automotive said.

As inventories rise, analysts forecast fourth-quarter new vehicle sales to grow 9.6% year-over-year to 3.55 million units. Sales have declined in each prior quarter of 2022 due to supply rather than demand issues. But the pace of US auto sales is expected to drop 6.4% in December from a rate of 14.1 million the previous month.

Total new vehicle sales are forecast to decline 8.4% to 13.69 million units for the full year. Sales increased in the second half of 2022 but failed to offset declines in the first six months, analysts at JD Power said.

Prospects for car sales in 2023

In 2023, US auto sales are expected to rebound as supply chain issues continue to ease.

“Indications are that shipments will gradually increase throughout the year, allowing sales to increase from 2022 levels,” analysts at JD Power and LMC Auto said.

Despite a possible economic downturn, pent-up consumer demand over the past two years is expected to keep inventory levels relatively low.

So 2023 is likely to be “another year of relatively healthy prices and profitability” for automakers and auto dealers, analysts said.

New US EV tax credits of up to $7,500 are expected to boost demand for electric vehicles in 2023. But EVs are expected to be assembled in North America, benefiting Tesla, GM and Ford at the expense of most foreign automakers. Income cuts and prices can also limit your reach.

Global vehicle sales will increase 6% to 85.7 million units in 2023, predicts JD Power. But it warns that the risk of recession could reduce the forecast by up to 2 million units.


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