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Automakers reports lower US sales as supply chain woes persist

NEW YORK (AFP) – General Motors (GM), Toyota and other automakers suffered a hit to United States (US) sales in the latest quarter as supply chain woes continued to crimp inventories, according to results released on Friday.

GM sold 582,401 autos in the three months ending June 30, a drop of 15 per cent from the same period a year ago.

The Detroit giant said it is holding 95,000 partially-built vehicles in need of components that it expects to deliver by the end of 2022.

Such manoeuvres have become the norm over the last year as manufacturers try to make headway on as many high-margin vehicles as possible amid limited supply of semiconductors and other key items.

On the positive side, GM said it scored strong sales for its pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, despite low inventories. And “pent-up demand” drove sales growth in other vehicles, including the Chevrolet Camaro and Chevrolet Colorado.

GM reaffirmed its full-year profit outlook, but its second-quarter net income range of between USD1.6 billion and USD1.9 billion lagged consensus estimates.

Meanwhile, Toyota reported sales of 531,105 over the same period, a drop of 23 per cent compared with the 2021 quarter, and the Japanese company also cited “ongoing inventory challenges” hindering its dealerships.

A bright spot has been a jump in sales of Toyota’s electric vehicles, which have comprised more than 25 per cent of Toyota’s sales so far this year.

Cox Automotive has forecast a 19.3 per cent drop in US auto sales for the second quarter. “Even though economic conditions have worsened in the past months, the lack of supply is still the greatest headwind facing the auto industry today,” said senior economist at Cox Charlie Chesbrough.

Hyundai Motor America reported a drop of 23 per cent sales drop to 184,191 units.

A line of cars for sale at the Potamkin Hyundai dealership used car lot. PHOTO: AP