This Auto Giant Should Reclaim U.S. Sales Crown On Strong Q4

Auto sales are expected to rebound further for General Motors (GM) in the final quarter of 2022. GM is seen regaining the sales crown from Toyota Motor (TM) for the full year after overcoming a sharp slump in the first six months.


On Wednesday, Stellantis (STLA) and Honda Motor (HMC) are also preparing to report Q4 and full-year 2022 sales in the U.S. market. Ford (F) should follow soon after.

Analysts at J.D. Power and LMC Automotive expect total U.S. new vehicle sales to rise in Q4, after falling in each of the prior quarters of 2022.

General Motors should seize the U.S. sales crown for the full year on the back of a strong Q4, analysts at Cox Automotive said. Japan’s Toyota topped GM in the U.S. for the first time in 2021, amid the auto chip shortage. Honda appears set for the largest year-over-year sales decline in 2022, Cox said.

Globally, Tesla (TSLA) deliveries hit a record 405,278 in the fourth quarter, the company said Monday. The EV giant does not break down sales by country. Tesla missed Q4 forecasts despite aggressive year-end incentives. TSLA stock plunged 14% Tuesday to a fresh two-year low.

Here is how other automakers are expected to perform. The estimates from Cox Automotive show Q4 and full-year sales volume, as well as sales growth or decline vs. a year ago.

General Motors

Q4 sales estimate: 613,904 vehicles, up 40.7% year over year. It would also be up from the 555,580 vehicles that GM sold in the third quarter.

Full-year 2022 sales estimate: 2,253,641 vehicles, up 2.3% vs. 2021. In the first three quarters of 2022, GM’s sales were down 20%, down 15% and up 24% in sequential order.

Results: Check back Wednesday.

One issue is whether GM production of its newer electric vehicles will pick up. Older-generation Bolt and Bolt EUV sales have fared well. But output of the Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq, both using Ultium batteries, was scant in the third quarter.

GM stock rose 0.5% to 33.81 in Tuesday’s stock market action.

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Toyota Motor

Q4 sales estimate: 550,948 vehicles, up 16.1%.

Full-year 2022 sales estimate: 2,122,665 vehicles, down 9%.

Results: Check back Wednesday.

Toyota Motor stock gained 1.2% to 138.28 Tuesday.


Q4 sales estimate: 466.447 vehicles, down 7.5%.

Full-year 2022 sales estimate: 1,837,603 vehicles, down 2.9%.

Results: Check back later.

Ford stock edged up 0.4% to 11.68 on Tuesday. The automaker announced Tuesday that the F-Series retained the title of America’s bestselling vehicle in 2022 for the 41st year. Ford said it sold more than 640,000 F-Series trucks in 2022 — averaging at least one sale every 49 seconds.


Q4 sales estimate: 342,894 vehicles, down 16.7%.

Full-year 2022 sales estimate: 1,542,301 vehicles, down 13.2%.

Results: Check back Wednesday.

Stellantis stock climbed 2.8% Tuesday.


Q4 sales estimate: 249,379 vehicles, down 13.2%.

Full-year 2022 sales estimate: 977,636 vehicles, down 33.3%.

Results: Check back Wednesday.

Honda stock added 1.8% Tuesday.

U.S. Auto Sales To Rise In Q4

As the fourth quarter of 2022 progressed, worries about softening demand mounted amid rising interest rates and a 40-year high in inflation.

The month of December saw used-car retailer CarMax (KMX) warn on “vehicle affordability issues,” while Tesla (TSLA) offered $7,500 off for last-minute U.S. delivery.

Used-car prices are now falling significantly, which could put some pressure on new-vehicle sticker prices.

On the supply side, new-vehicle inventories “modestly” improved in Q4, analysts at J.D. Power and LMC Automotive said.

As inventories rise, the analysts forecast Q4 new vehicle sales will grow 9.6%, year over year, to 3.55 million units. Sales slumped in each prior quarter of 2022 due to supply rather than demand issues. But the U.S. auto sales pace is expected to fall 6.4% in December from a 14.1 million rate the previous month.

Total new vehicle sales are seen falling 8.4% to 13.69 million units for the full year. Sales rose in the latter half of 2022 but failed to offset declines in the first six months, analysts at J.D. Power said.

2023 Outlook For Car Sales

In 2023, U.S. auto sales are seen rebounding as supply chain woes continue to ease.

“Indications are that shipments will rise incrementally throughout the year, allowing sales to increase from 2022 levels,” the analysts at J.D. Power and LMC Auto said.

Despite a possible economic downturn, pent-up consumer demand from the past two years is expected to keep inventory levels relatively low.

Therefore, 2023 is likely to be “another year of relative healthy pricing and profitability” for automakers and auto dealers, the analysts said.

New U.S. EV tax credits of up to $7,500 should buoy demand for electric vehicles in 2023. But the EVs must be assembled in North America, benefiting Tesla, GM and Ford at the expense of most foreign automakers. Income and price cuts also could limit their reach.

Global vehicle sales will rise 6% to 85.7 million units in 2023, J.D. Power predicts. But it warns that recession risk could cut the forecast by as much as 2 million units.


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Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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