Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp looks set to embarrass American automakers on their home turf by ending the year as the U.S. market’s top-selling brand for 2021.
Toyota had previously reported it moved 688,813 vehicles in the United States from April to June, outperforming General Motors and setting the stage for the rest of the year. At the time, the domestic manufacturer claimed its numbers were down due to the global semiconductor shortage that continues to disproportionally impact American automakers. While there are a few sound logistical reasons for that, the chip deficit also becomes a convenient excuse for brands that cannot seem to get their general supply chains under control. No matter how you slice it, GM looks to have screwed up managing inventory and Toyota is picking up the slack.
To say the American auto industry faced challenges in 2020 is on par with saying the Pontiac Aztek was only a little bit ahead of its time. Or that Carlos Ghosn is only slightly irritated at some of his former Nissan colleagues.
Predictions of how each company (and the market as a whole) would fare in the face of everything 2020 had to offer came and went and were revised and them were revised again. Finally, after what can only be described as a ‘tactical delay’ by a couple of big-name manufacturers in releasing their data, we have a full and complete picture.
Perhaps surprisingly, it isn’t as dire as some of us feared.
Most manufacturers were awash in red by the end of 2018, either from the ink on their ledgers or the rose-colored glasses they were wearing while trying to assure themselves that all was well. Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai … all ceded ground over the last twelve months.
Those seeking the brightest light in 2018 need look no further than our own backyard. Fiat Chrysler climbed the sales chart in a big way. Predictably, that charge was led by Jeep. The numbers put forth by the Trail Rated brand did hold one very surprising statistic, however.
Year-end lists are great. Music-themed roundups of the last twelve months rock, no pun intended. You know what’s the best, though? Exactly. Stories of this ilk which focus on cars.
Because he is a total anorak with an unhealthy interest in data, your author kept a spreadsheet of the 39 local press fleet machines which passed through his slovenly hands during 2018, not counting First Drives occurring in other locations.
Microsoft Excel is responsible for indigestion for many, but fear not: we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. What rig was the most powerful? Which one was the lardbutt? Are there any performance trends emerging? Did Excel make Matthew’s computer crash again?
The answer to that last one is an emphatic “yes.”
America’s love affair with the pickup truck is about as well kept a secret as the styling of the next Mercedes G-Wagen. Steph talked about mid-sizers this morning, alluding to VW’s new trademark and pontificating if it’s worth the OEM taking a plunge into that segment.
Full-size trucks have no such concerns, of course, with their sales success seemingly as reliable as the sunrise.
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