U.S. sales fell again at Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co., Hyundai, Kia and Subaru last month as tight inventories caused by supply-chain bottlenecks continue to undermine the auto industry’s recovery from the pandemic.
Toyota Motor, with one of the industry’s leanest new-vehicle stockpiles, said first-quarter sales skidded 15 percent to 514,592. It was still enough to edge past General Motors by 5,484 deliveries, which reported first-quarter volume slid 20 percent to 509,108.
GM’s four brands all posted declines in the latest quarter: 20 percent at Chevrolet, 7.5 percent at GMC, 58 percent at Buick and 24 percent at Cadillac.
Toyota overtook GM as the bestselling U.S. automaker in 2021. GM sales have now dropped three straight quarters.
Toyota said March deliveries slid 24 percent behind declines of 23 percent at the Toyota division and 29 percent at Lexus. It was the eighth consecutive monthly decline at the Toyota brand and second straight dip at Lexus.
Stellantis says it sold 405,221 vehicles in the first quarter. Overall, total U.S. and retail sales during the period declined 14 percent and 13 percent, respectively, the company said. Volume dropped 2 percent at Jeep and 15 percent at Ram.
Honda Motor Co. sales skidded for the eighth consecutive month, with March deliveries down 27 percent at the Honda brand and 26 percent at Acura. Company officials cited unprecedented low levels of new-vehicle inventory for the latest results.
“We’re riding a bit of a roller coaster due to fluctuating parts supply issues,” said Dave Gardner, executive vice president at American Honda. “We aren’t out of the woods yet, but we will continue to manage the supply issues to maximize production and help our dealers meet the needs of our customers.”
First-quarter volume at Nissan plunged 30 percent compared to last year, with the Nissan division falling 29 percent and Infiniti down 41 percent.