GM’s Last Year Sales Jump 2.5 Percent, But Why Does Ford Still Maintain Truck Dominance?

5 min readJan 17, 2023

There was a time when many people tried to brand-new new trucks but the inventory could not keep up. Automakers that produce pickup trucks has their ups and downs since the pandemic started. Shorter work shifts and shutdowns happened in many factories, which affected the production of pickup trucks in the United States.

According to General Motors, the sales were up by 2.5 percent over 2021. But despite the sales increase, do you ever wonder why Ford Motors maintains the truck market dominance compared to GM?

Photo Credit: CarBuzz

GM’s competitors

Ford may not have the most outstanding sales since 2012, but its popular F-Series is still the top-selling truck in America. Some of Ford’s trucks in compact, mid-size, and full-size classes have been the top-selling in the country for 46 consecutive years.

There are times when the Detroit automaker’s famous Ram truck outsells Ford trucks. But when it comes to tallying the yearly sales, it is typically Ram and Chevrolet that competes in the second spot.

Chevrolet and Ford are not the only contenders in the truck market because Toyota Motor is another challenger. The multinational company sold 2.1 million vehicles, which is down by 9.6 percent from 2021. As the supply chain problem persists, Toyota copes with the setback on semiconductor chips better than others.

It seems unattainable for Toyota to reach the top sales spot as it needs to outsell the popular truck models of the “Big Three.” But in 2021, 114,034 vehicles were sold by Toyota, edging out Ram models and dethroning the GM for the first time since 1931. Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s CEO, said he did a “happy dance” when he heard the news. Jack Hollis, executive vice president of Toyota Motor North America, said they focus on retail sales. Compared to fleet or commercial sales, retail is more profitable.

However, 2022 may have been a decent year for GM as it earned a slight gain in annual U.S. vehicle sales. Last year, GM sold 2.27 million vehicles in the American market, despite the complications in the supply chain. The company’s sales improved by 2.5 percent compared to 2021, thanks to the 41.4 percent increase during the fourth quarter.

Supply chain problems

In 2022, the sales of new cars fell to their lowest level in a decade because many automakers could not make enough vehicles for consumers to purchase. Although it is still the start of the new year — 2023 — the demands seem to weaken due to many factors.

A lot of automakers had no choice but to cut work shifts and do sporadic shutdowns in their facilities. The global supply chain problems have significantly affected the production of pickups in America. The onset of the Covid pandemic affected the development and assembly of truck parts. Even the industry of rubber has been affected, which rattled companies like Toyo tires and other tire brands. The rubber producers were not able to plant as many new trees as they normally would.

The demand for pickup trucks is now weakening compared to when the pandemic began. The difficulties in the supply chain led to huge changes in sales rankings. It also hurt auto sales in 2022 not just in the truck market, but also in other vehicle markets.

Since the global semiconductor shortage seems to be easing, carmakers could enhance their production. However, the higher interest rates might keep sales low. It is impacted by the increase of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate intended to slow inflation. After the prices elevated to record highs, it is going to be more expensive and difficult for consumers to finance automobile purchases.

Ford vs. GM

For more than a century, General Motors and Ford have been bitter rivals. They consistently attempt to outpace each other, whether in sales, styling, or performance of new vehicles. However, the third-quarter sales of 2022 for the Detroit automaker were better than Ford’s.

In recent years, GM has gained an edge with financials and upgraded its facilities to make way for new and upcoming electric and autonomous vehicles. The Detroit automaker has been diversifying its self-driving vehicle businesses and emerging battery manufacturing. By 2035, the company plans to exclusively offer EVs.

GM goes all-in even if it has less cash on hand than Ford. GM is investing heavily in EVs and seems to be ready to let go of fuel-powered vehicles soon. The company has pledged $35 billion to its electrification efforts, including $7 billion already spent on its Michigan EV production facilities.

According to the company’s chief, Mary Barra, GM will soon have vehicle assembly and battery cell capacities, as they are aiming to be the EV leader by 2025. Overtaking Tesla is a part of the goal in just three years — a bold move for the automaker.

Ford is slowly moving into electric vehicles but still keeping the investments in traditional businesses. By the end of this decade, the Dearborn automaker expects at least 40 percent of its sales globally to be electric vehicles.

Ford gets the top spot

One of the great things about the trucks made by Ford is it allows owners to add a personal touch through customization. To improve the looks of the truck, there are many exterior truck accessories available. Replacing the old rims with aftermarket products like Method Wheels can also help enhance the looks of the vehicle. Moreover,

For the final three months of 2022 and the overall year, Ford’s sales in America decreased. The sales of F-Series and other models were low compared to the records in 2021. Despite the dwindling sales, the Dearborn automaker maintained its dominance against brands by Stellantis — Ram and Chevy Silverado trucks.

The blue oval-badged automaker has leading truck profits compared to its contenders. It was able to retain a vast customer base while transitioning to the production of electric vehicles. The company grew its market share by 0.7 to 13.1 percent. It also expanded its EV presence and still overtook the popular electric car company, Tesla.

Key to truck dominance

Since fuel-powered trucks have reigned American roads for many years, it can be challenging for car companies to produce two distinctly different types of vehicles. Currently, the majority of pickup trucks you can find in dealers have internal combustion engines, while electric trucks have limited options. Investment in EVs seems to be the best path forward not just for GM and other vehicle manufacturers in the United States. To succeed in the emerging truck market, GM, Ford, and others must create vehicles as efficiently as possible.




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