Chip shortage may cost GM its bestseller crown

Shane McGlaun - Oct 3, 2021, 10:50am CDT
Chip shortage may cost GM its bestseller crown

The chip shortages are hitting automotive manufacturers around the world extremely hard. Many automakers have continued building their vehicles, but often they have to be parked as chips required for them to operate are unavailable. The chip shortage might see GM lose its top seller crown, something it’s held since 1931 when it surpassed Ford in overall sales.

Numbers reported by the automotive manufacturers for the first three quarters of 2021 show that Toyota was 80,401 vehicles ahead of GM in overall sales at the beginning of October. GM is currently struggling to match its typical production pace, and thanks to the chip shortage might only match numbers it put up in 1958.

Data shows that GM has sold 33 percent fewer vehicles in Q3 2021 than during Q3 2019. During Q3 2021, GM moved 446,997 vehicles compared to 665,192 during the same quarter last year. However, Toyota showed a scant one percent gain for Q3 2021 compared to the same quarter of last year, moving 566,005 vehicles.

GM has said that it expects a more stable environment for chips this fall but reports widely suggested the chip shortage might continue through 2022. It is difficult to find vehicles on dealer lots for purchase, with automakers unable to produce new vehicles in volumes they typically operate at. GM inventory at dealerships is reportedly down 40 percent compared to June and 84 percent from GM’s highest numbers.

The chip shortage for new vehicles has also driven used-car prices up significantly. Some used cars are selling at prices similar to what they sold for brand-new. The chip shortages have made the used-car market better for sellers than for buyers. If GM loses its overall sales crown after 90 years, it will likely take the crown back after the chip shortage is over. However, that’s a serious streak to break.


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