U.S. auto sales: After 2022 low, 2023 rebound uncertain

American Honda struggled throughout the year, posting the steepest decline for 2022 among major automakers, at 33 percent. The company has posted 17 straight months of declines.

The automaker said it is starting 2023 with about 40,000 new vehicles in inventory and has advised dealers that stockpiles won’t return to normal levels until the fall at the earliest.

Mamadou Diallo, vice president of auto sales for American Honda Motor Co., said the company isn’t “out of the woods yet with supply issues” but that “we begin 2023 with roughly double the on-hand inventory of 2022.”

One area that saw steady growth in 2022? Electric vehicle sales.

Tesla continued to dominate, delivering more than 1.31 million vehicles globally for the year, although it does not break out sales by region.

Ford finished the year at No. 2 in the U.S. after more than doubling EV sales to 61,575. Ford trailed Hyundai Motor Group for much of the year but pulled ahead in the final months thanks to a ramp-up in production of the F-150 Lightning, which went on sale in May. Hyundai finished 2022 selling 58,028 EVs, according to Motor Intelligence.

The race is expected to ratchet up in 2023, with Ford projected to produce 600,000 EVs globally by the end of the year, Hyundai Motor introducing EVs such as the Kia EV9 and Hyundai Ioniq 6 and GM starting production of multiple models including the Silverado EV.

Cox Automotive expects EV sales to top 1 million in the U.S. for the first time this year, Krebs said.

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