General Motors (GM) managed to maintain its position as the top-selling automaker in the United States in 2023, surpassing its rival, Toyota Motor.
This achievement came as a result of improved supply chain stability and sustained consumer demand, marking the industry’s best performance since the onset of the pandemic.
Despite facing challenges such as a costly auto strike, GM reported U.S. new vehicle sales of approximately 2.6 million units for 2023, reflecting a notable 14.1% increase compared to 2022.
Toyota, on the other hand, recorded an annual sales growth of 6.6%, with sales reaching approximately 2.25 million vehicles.
In a broader context, the total U.S. new vehicle sales for the year amounted to around 15.5 million units.
Notably, electrified vehicles, including hybrids, accounted for nearly 17% of these sales, marking the highest figure since 2019 and surpassing the sales of approximately 13.9 million units in 2022, according to data from Wards Intelligence and consultant Cox Automotive.
The ongoing recovery in vehicle sales serves as a positive sign for the U.S. economy, indicating resilience in the face of rising interest rates.
However, analysts have cautioned that elevated borrowing costs could potentially impact demand in the coming year, with “high vehicle prices and high interest rates” being cited as industry challenges.
Car dealers resorted to offering generous incentives and discounts in December to clear out older inventory accumulated over two years of restrained promotional activity.
J.D. Power highlighted that U.S. consumers had spent over half a trillion dollars on new vehicles for three consecutive years.
Toyota reported a significant surge in sales of electrified vehicles, including hybrids and all-electric models, with a growth rate of 30.4%, constituting 29.2% of its overall U.S. sales.
GM also made strides in the electric vehicle market, selling a total of 75,883 EVs, including 62,045 Bolts and 13,838 Ultium platform EVs.
GM remains optimistic about strong demand in 2024, forecasting total industry sales of 16 million units for the year.
While Ford, Stellantis, and Tesla saw their shares decline, with Tesla experiencing the most significant drop, analysts anticipate challenges ahead.
GM announced $7,500 incentives on its EVs following the loss of a U.S. government tax credit.
Hyundai reported an 11% increase in annual sales and achieved annual EV sales of 55,783 units, while Mazda and Honda also reported higher annual sales figures.
Analysts expect U.S. EV sales to reach around 10% of overall auto sales in 2024, with some cautioning that high interest rates could impact EV demand.
AutoForecast Solutions noted that while EV sales are expected to improve, they may not reach the rapid growth rates seen in previous years.