Is Team Chevy pulling into the lead?

By Jenny LescohierJanuary 04, 2022

Everyone has an opinion when it comes to pickup trucks, and if you join up with one team (er, brand) or another, chances are you’ll become a loyal fan and will stick to your tribe.

According to the latest report from General Motors Co., Team Chevy is the current leader, at least when it comes to sales.

GM and its dealers delivered 2.2 million vehicles in 2021, with Chevrolet and GMC cementing the company’s eighth consecutive year of combined full-size and midsize pickup sales leadership, second consecutive year as the full-size pickup sales leader and its 21st consecutive year as the market leader in full-size SUVs.

GM’s commercial truck business registered gains in key areas, including Chevrolet Silverado Medium Duty sales, which were up 39%. GM’s total sales were down about 13% year over year because of semiconductor supply chain issues.

“All year we focused on delivering as many of our high demand, capacity-constrained products as possible and the strategy worked,” said Steve Carlisle, GM executive vice president and president, GM North America. “Our dealers and our engineering, supply chain, manufacturing and brand teams moved mountains to satisfy as many customers as possible in 2021, despite record low inventories caused by semiconductor supply chain issues during the third and fourth quarters.”

Carlisle continued, “In 2022, we plan to take advantage of the strong economy and anticipated improved semiconductor supplies to grow our sales and share. We will also further strengthen our industry leadership in trucks and begin our drive to EV leadership in North America with the rollouts of the GMC HUMMER EV, Cadillac LYRIQ and the reveals of the Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV.”

Chevrolet and GMC will stay on offense in the full-size pickup market in 2022 with new designs, the rollout of Super Cruise and more capacity, highlighted by the following:

  • GM Canada re-opened its Oshawa Assembly plant and began building Chevrolet Silverado HD pickups in the fourth quarter of 2021.
  • Mid-year will see the arrival of the new 2022 Chevrolet Silverado LD and GMC Sierra LD. The redesigned pickups will feature new interiors, will generate lower greenhouse gas emissions, add new off-road and luxury packages, and include the addition of Super Cruise as an option for the first time.
  • Both brands are preparing all-electric pickups, including the Chevrolet Silverado EV, which will be revealed virtually on Jan. 5, during the Consumer Electronics Show.

GM expects economic growth in the U.S. and improving semiconductor availability to help drive U.S. total light industry sales from around 15 million in 2021 to around 16 million in 2022.

“The key constraint for sales continues to be reduced inventory levels as a result of the semiconductor shortage. Those inventory levels are beginning to recover against a backdrop of strong fundamental demand conditions, with ample job openings, high household savings and low interest rates,” said Elaine Buckberg, GM chief economist. “Consumers want to drive as much as before the pandemic, based on recent high levels of vehicle usage. High vehicle usage and deferred sales mean pent up demand for new vehicles in the millions and building. That pent up demand will support sales as vehicle supply improves.”

Full-year highlights vs. 2020

  • Combined sales of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra LD and HD were 768,689. The company’s share of the retail market in 2021 was approximately 39%, according to J.D. Power PIN estimates and about 10 points higher than the next closest competitor.
  • GM has led the industry in retail sales in the full-size pickup segment every year since 2003, according to J.D. Power PIN estimates.
  • Commercial fleet sales of full-size pickups increased 10%, while Medium Duty trucks were up 30%. 
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