Wild ride of US auto sales in 2022, down from 1977. Charts for GM, Toyota, Ford, Stellantis, Hyundai-Kia, Honda and Nissan Oh Dear

Who got the chips and who didn’t: Hyundai-Kia sales at all-time high in 2022 honda sales fall

By wolf richter For wolf street,

The thing about new vehicle sales in America is that even in good years, they’re bad, and in bad years, they’re terrible.

In 2022, total new vehicles delivered to retail customers and fleets (lease fleets dominate) will drop 8% from an already dreadful 2021 to 13.7 million vehicles, where deliveries peaked in 1977, up 16.4% from the peak in 2016. down , and down 20.8% from the previous peak in 2000. This makes for a steep decline with 45 years of stagnation in between.

The way automakers have gotten their dollar-revenues to grow for decades in this environment of stagnant or sinking unit sales has been to sell more expensive vehicles, ever fancier, more advanced, better performers. , to sell more efficient, better equipped and more expensive vehicles. Safe vehicle – I mean, even the base F-150 pickup truck now has a 10-speed automatic transmission, that sort of thing.

But already years ago, the upscale and ever-higher prices began to contribute to the stagnation as there appears to be a dearth of upscale Americans.

But 2022 was extra special: a shift in demand for chip shortages and fuel-efficient cars.

Semiconductor shortages started in late 2020, got worse in 2021, and stretched through 2022, and they’re still ongoing, albeit to a lesser extent.

In this environment, when automakers could get the semiconductors they needed, they could build and sell vehicles, and their sales were strong – Toyota by September 2021, Hyundai and Kia in 2021 and 2022, Korean Semiconductor It is good to have a good relationship with the producers. And when they ran out of just one out of thousands of semiconductors of a model, they couldn’t manufacture that model, and had nothing to sell, dealers ran out of inventory, and their sales fell – to 2022. In Honda and Toyota. American automakers were in trouble the whole time.

Furthermore, driven by a rise in gasoline prices in early 2022, vehicle demand has suddenly shifted to fuel-efficient vehicles, especially small and medium-sized cars and compact SUVs, and to EVs by legacy automakers, which They couldn’t build enough. The supply chain and production were completely unprepared to accommodate this change.

So the inventory shortfall has shifted to pickup trucks and SUVs in 2022, which disappeared from dealer lots in 2021 and which now have ample supply, for fuel-efficient vehicles, and dealers are out of those vehicles in 2022,

Total inventory through November has come down to 1.64 million vehicles, according to data from Cox Automotive, but was still down 54% from November 2019:

Scarcity led to a jump in prices,

Classically, the MSRP is set before new model-year vehicles arrive at the dealer and will not change thereafter for the entire model year. In normal years, automakers and dealers pile on rebates, dealer incentives, and customer discounts to encourage sales (the exception being Tesla, which sells direct; it changes prices on its website whenever).

But in 2021 and 2022, these rebates, dealer incentives, and customer discounts disappeared, and dealers were able to sell vehicles thousands of dollars above MSRP, because Americans who could afford them suddenly couldn’t afford to pay anything. were curious, which they rarely do in normal times.

Furthermore, automakers who could build a limited number of vehicles due to chip shortages prioritized their most expensive models, and they raised prices on those. And so I ended up writing this crazy article: $1,768 a month on a Ford Pickup with $10,407 down, 5% APR? Update on Q3 New-Vehicle Finance,

And as a result, average transaction prices rose 33% over three years, from $34,900 in December 2019 to $46,400 in December 2022, after all incentives and addendum stickers, according to JD Power. That price hike has now stopped.

The chart shows average transaction prices in June and December each year; The green line connects December. Also note how the usual seasonality – the drop in average transaction prices mid-year – has recently completely disappeared:

The wild ride of the seven largest automakers in America.

Note: The first four charts – the big four – are on the same scale to show their relative sales to each other. The remaining big three automakers don’t sell enough to show up on these charts, and they each have their own scale.

General Motors: Sales increased 2.5% year-over-year to 2.274 million vehicles. But it was down 26% from its recent peak in 2015, following declines in 2020 and 2021, and sales declines in the four prior years:

toyota: During the first half of 2021, Toyota had a plentiful supply of semiconductors thanks to exclusive contracts with its suppliers. But then it also ended and by September 2021 vehicles started running out in it. Still, the strength through the first three quarters in 2021 was enough to make it #1 in the US for the first time.

In 2022, after a series of production cuts, inventory disappeared, and sales fell 9.6% to 2.11 million vehicles, down 16% from the recent peak in 2015:

ford: Sales declined 2.2% year-over-year, the 7th consecutive year-over-year decline. Sales are down 28% from the recent peak in 2015:

stellentis (FCA US): Sales are down 13% year-over-year and have fallen 32% from the recent peak in 2015:

The charts below of the remaining big three automakers in the US are each on their own scale.

Hyundai-KIA: Whoever can get the chips can build a vehicle and has something to sell. It helps that other Korean companies are global powerhouses in semiconductor production. So Hyundai-Kia sales set an all-time record in 2021 and fall 1.5% from that record to 1.42 million vehicles in 2022:

Honda: Similar to Toyota, it was able to get through 2021 reasonably well, but was hit hard by semiconductor shortages in late 2021 and into 2022, and it slumped, with sales down 33% year-over-year Sales fell to less than 1 million vehicles, down 40% from the peak in 2017:

Nissan: Sales fell 25% year-over-year to 729,000 and were down 54% from the peak in 2017. The company was already having huge problems before the pandemic, with sales falling 16% in two years from a 2019 peak in 2017. The pandemic and chip shortages hit it further:

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