GM, imports had a good 2023; STLA, Ford yet to post sales

So far, every company reporting their full 2023 U.S. sales has reported hefty gains over 2022—though 2022 was a problematic year with global supply shortages stemming from even before COVID-19 hit.

General Motors, once the world’s largest automaker and still the US’ leader, reported a 14% gain with 2.6 million sales for the year—though the fourth quarter was flat. Chevrolet clearly drove their sales, with 1.7 million cars and trucks changing hands; GMC was second with over a half-million. After that came the mildly upscale Buick (147,214) and then Cadillac (147,214). All the brands reported gains, but Buick’s 61% was by far the highest. BrightDrop, a GM startup selling battery-electrics to businesses, reported 497 sales for the year; the company still getting started, though, and sold only 146 vehicles in 2022.

2023 Chevrolet Colorado Z71

Toyota, the world’s current largest automaker, sold 2.2 million cars and trucks in the US in 2023; Toyota had gains of 4% and Lexus had gains of 24% (on 320,249 sales, more than double Cadillac’s number).

The country’s possible #3, Hyundai-Kia, sold around 1.7 million cars and trucks; it may well beat Stellantis’ full-year sales at that rate, gaining 12% over 2022 sales. That includes just 69,175 Genesis sales, which were up by 23%. Hyundai and Kia were roughly evenly split, with Kia taking a somewhat smaller share but having a somewhat higher gain.

Volkswagen, Europe’s #1 automaker, gained by 22% to 228,550, still a marginal number in US sales—well below Nissan/Mitsubishi’s million and Subaru’s over-half-million. Mazda, which has been turning heads lately, had a 23% sales gain to 363,354 and is also not much of a danger to GM or Stellantis. Honda, which used to be on track to be the #4 automaker, gained quite a bit—33%—to 1.3 million sales, the vast majority of which were Hondas rather than Acuras.

Speaking of BrightDrop, Rivian more than doubled its 2022 sales, reaching 50,122. That is divided between just two vehicles, the R1T truck and R1S crossover-and-van; both are surprisingly impressive off-road vehicles. The company uses a factory in Normal, Illinois, that used to make Diamond Star vehicles using Mitsubishi engineering and sold under both the Mitsubishi and Chrysler Corporation nameplates. They also make specially designed vans for Amazon which appear to be part of their R1S sales figures; nearly 7,000 of these may be marked as sold in January. Their production began in late 2021.

Stellantis and Ford should report shortly.

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