Jan 4 (Reuters) – General Motors Co (GM.N) Toyota Motor Corp on Wednesday reported a 2.5% rise in U.S. new vehicle sales in 2022. (7203.D)That helped ease inventory shortages and strong demand for its cars and trucks.
GM, which lost its position as America’s top automaker at the end of 2021 for the first time since 1931, saw its annual sales rise to 2,274,088 vehicles last year, beating Toyota’s annual sales of 2,108,458 units in a closely watched race.
Inventory shortages, driven by rising material costs and persistent chip shortages, spread into 2022, spurring production at many automakers, particularly Asian brands, and pushing up car and truck prices.
Toyota has been hit hard, forcing the automaker to cut its full-year production target in November. Sales of its SUVs, a key segment, fell 8.6% in 2022, data showed on Wednesday.
Hyundai Motor America (005380.KS) It said on Wednesday that it sold 724,265 vehicles, down 2% from last year.
According to industry consultant Cox Automotive, industry-wide U.S. auto sales last year are forecast at about 13.9 million units.
Some industry watchers worry that price hikes by automakers to blunt inflationary pressures and rising interest rates will hurt new vehicle sales in the new year.
“We expect 2023 to be characterized by increased risk and uncertainty as many markets deal with the recession,” said Jeff Schuster, head of global forecasting at LMC Automotive.
Automakers should start encouraging buyers, which was briefly paused during the pandemic as manufacturers and dealers struggled to meet demand, auto marketplace TrueCar said.
Aishwarya Nair and Nathan Gomez report in Bangalore; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar
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