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In 2021, the Japanese manufacturer sold more cars and pickups on the American market than its American counterpart. It was the shortage of semiconductors that led to the fall of General Motors, a first since 1931 when the manufacturer now headed by Mary Barra overtook Ford, the other giant in Detroit.
The demand from American consumers is not weakening, it is the supply that has not been able to keep up. The lack of electronic chips had forced many automotive groups to temporarily suspend their production lines. The result: heavy sales declines in the fourth quarter.
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A loss that the Japanese managed to make up for the year as a whole with a 10% increase in sales to 2.3 million vehicles, while General Motors saw theirs decline by 13%, ultimately selling 2 , 2 million units.
Similar problems at Stellantis, the parent company of Chrysler, or even at Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat and Alfa Romeo. Ford is expected to release its figures on Wednesday.
The fact remains that since the 2008 crisis, the giants of Detroit have been saved from disaster thanks to huge austerity cures imposed by the state. General Motors was nationalized, Chrysler bought by Fiat and Ford gained ground by cutting tens of thousands of jobs.
The challenge of the three giants of Detroit against their longtime competitor, Toyota, will be the bet on the electric. The strong demand is already there.
► To read also: United States: the shortage of semiconductors causes the production of General Motors to fall