Automakers Continue to See US New Car Sales Decline
Automakers are still trying to climb out of a pandemic-fueled hole that for many seems to be only getting bigger.
Toyota sales were down nearly 23% in the U.S. during the second quarter, according to the Detroit Free Press. Stellantis reported a 16% decline over the same three-month period, while General Motors said its sales dipped by more than 15%.
The slumping sales figures come “as the auto industry continues to struggle with a global shortage of semiconductor chips and other production disruptions, which analysts predict will continue this year,” Jamie LaReau reports for the Free Press.
Although Toyota topped the new car sales charts in the U.S. last year and over the first quarter of 2022, the Japanese auto manufacturer was overtaken by GM in the last quarter. That is despite that downturn in new sales for the Michigan-based auto giant.
The semiconductor chip shortage was sparked by a whirlwind of events stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Automakers reduced their orders for chips at the beginning of the pandemic, predicting a steep decline in demand. They looked to ramp production back up when the pandemic receded, but chip suppliers had shifted to serving consumer electronics makers.
"GM is in a better supply situation," Michelle Krebs, an executive analyst for Cox Automotive, told the Free Press. "The challenge for GM as well as all other automakers is to maintain a steady supply of parts so assembly plants can keep running at full speed and fill the product pipeline."
Car Defects Pose Serious Risks
Dwindling sales figures are a problem for auto manufacturers. The problem for people who drive their cars is that the companies continue to fail to ensure that the vehicles are actually safe for the road.
Just some eight months ago, GM recalled roughly 15,000 vehicles because of a fuel pump defect that the company said could cause cars to stall unexpectedly, putting the drivers and passengers at risk of an accident. More recently, it called back some 95,000 sport utility vehicles, citing a defect that could cause their seatbelts to become inoperable.
Toyota, meanwhile, recently announced that it was recalling roughly 460,000 vehicles because of a software glitch that may inadvertently disable the cars’ electronic stability control systems.
The good news for car owners in California is that the state’s lemon law forces carmakers to do various repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. It also requires manufacturers to buy back (or replace, in some situations) vehicles that they cannot or simply refuse to fix.
Speak With a Lemon Law Attorney at Our Firm
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle or are haggling with a car manufacturer over repairs, the California lemon lawyers at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.