Toyota's president said he 'did a little happy dance' after the company dethroned GM to become the bestselling carmaker in the US last year



  • Toyota's president said he celebrated when the automaker topped the US sales list in 2021.

  • "I actually did a little happy dance in my office," Akio Toyoda told dealers, per Reuters.

  • Supply shortages are starting to bite, however, as Toyota cut October's global production forecast.

The president of Toyota Motor Corporation said he was so thrilled when the Japanese automaker became the top-selling automaker in the US in 2021 that he started dancing.

"I actually did a little 'happy dance' in my office," Akio Toyoda told a network of the automaker's dealers, according to a video seen by Reuters at a press briefing Thursday. "Thankfully nobody saw it!" Toyoda said.

GM had enjoyed a decades-long run at the top of the US market but was dethroned last year after a series of supply chain shortages hampered its output. GM sold 2.2 million cars in 2021, a 13% fall from the previous year's 2.5 million.

Toyota, on the other hand, saw the sales of its vehicles —  which includes the popular Tacoma Pickup range — rise by 10.4% to 2.3 million cars. Better management of its supply chains was generally seen as the reason.

At the time, Jack Hollis, Toyota North America's senior vice president of automotive operations, downplayed its top ranking as America's bestselling car company, telling reporters "that is not our goal, nor do we see it as sustainable," per CNBC.

On top of nearly 1,500 dealerships in the US, Toyota has 10 manufacturing and engineering plants and 14 in North America, according to its website. Collectively, they produced just over one million cars in 2020.

Despite its relative success to date, supply chain shortages are starting to bite. On Thursday, Toyota announced it would make 50,000 fewer cars than it originally forecast in October. This was due to it slowing down production in some Japanese plants due to a shortage of semiconductors.

Toyota said it now expects to make 750,000 cars globally in the month. However, it's still on track for its target of 9.7 million by the end of 2022.

Toyota did not immediately respond to Insider's request for further comment, which was made outside of standard business hours.

During Thursday's press briefing, Toyoda discussed the automaker's plans to invest $70 billion in developing 70 electric vehicles by 2025. He said, however, that California's ban on the sale of gas and diesel cars in the state phased out from 2035, could be difficult to achieve, per Bloomberg.

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