Here’s how Ford, Tesla and these other big car brands fared in a very tumultuous year

Throughout 2021, an industry-wide chip shortage has forced automakers to ration their shortages of these critical components in favor of their best-selling, most profitable vehicles. Despite their efforts, according to Forbes, auto sales in the United States fell sharply in the third quarter – and not because of a lack of demand.

As chip shortages slowed production for some makes and models and rising inflation pushed up vehicle prices, frustrated buyers had to make tough compromises. Some have had to upgrade from new on occasion, downgrade to inferior finishes, settle for less desirable models or colors, or simply pay more.

All of this put a damper on brand loyalty and put countless new customers to gain. Here’s how some of the top automakers fared during this most unusual year.

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When chip supplies got very tight, automakers directed the lion’s share to their top performers. In most cases, that meant big SUVs and full-size trucks, like the best-selling vehicle in the United States for over 40 years, the Ford F-150.

The Ford F-Series is still No.1, according to Forbes, but its lead fell 8.4% year-on-year as the Ram Pickup and Chevy Silverado gained ground.

The whole drama has made for an exciting race that has been neck and neck all year.

The Ram 1500 and Silverado actually sold more than the F Series in the second quarter, according to Kelley Blue Book (KBB), but the King regained his crown in the third quarter. The trio are fighting not only for quarterly sales, but for the future. The highly anticipated and highly impressive all-electric F-150 Lightning will debut in 2022. It will be closely followed by an EV Ram 1500 and an electric Silverado.

Despite a 6.2% drop in sales from a year ago, Ford has an 11.2% market share and sold more vehicles in 2020 than any automaker except Toyota. Its third quarter results were strong enough for the company to revise its annual forecast upwards and since the start of the year, Ford stock is up an extraordinary 130%.


According to Forbes, Honda has two of the 10 best-selling vehicles in 2021: the # 5 CR-V and the # 8 Civic. Add the No. 16 Accord, and that’s three Hondas in the top 20. Honda was the No. 4 best-selling brand in the industry in 2021. Sales grew 20% year-on-year, compared to 885,066 to date. time in 2020 at 1,052,485 today. In comparison, the No. 3 Chevrolet saw sales drop 5.1% and the No. 2 Ford suffered a 6.2% decline. Honda now holds 9% of the market.

Unlike Ford, however, Honda shareholders have not been rewarded – the company’s shares are just breaking even over the year. Stocks peaked above $ 33 in mid-August, but had fallen sharply by the end of the month – and the decline continues today.

The No. 2 automaker in Japan, Honda has been hit hard by the chip shortage, not to mention skyrocketing production costs thanks to rising prices for steel and other critical materials. It was forced to cut its earnings outlook twice between August and early November, according to Reuters, with its latest revision lowering its estimate by 15%.


With a 13.8% market share, Toyota sold more vehicles than any other brand in the world in 2021, according to Forbes. Sales increased 28.6%, from 1,270,139 in 2020 to 1,619,078 a year later. The nameplate littered the top 10 list of the year, with the Rav4 coming in at # 4, the Camry in sixth, the Highlander at # 9 and the Tacoma completing the top 10. When you count the Corolla , which narrowly missed the list, Toyota won five of the top 11 places.

Toyota stock has risen more than 16% year-to-date, adding about $ 25 per share since Jan. 1. The company has shown incredible resilience in the midst of the pandemic as early as 2021. Its first quarter results impressed investors with a 73% increase in sales to $ 8.2 billion in profit.

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In many ways, 2021 was Tesla’s year. The company’s shares have risen 50% year-to-date, with the price of one share surpassing the $ 1,000 mark in the days leading up to Halloween. In the dying days of 2020, Tesla’s $ 631 billion market cap meant the company was worth more than the next six most valuable automakers combined, according to TheDrive. In October 2021, Fortune announced that Tesla had exceeded $ 1,000 billion in market capitalization, representing growth of over 40% since January.

Tesla sold 62% more cars in 2021 than in 2020. Only a few luxury brands like Bentley and Genesis recorded higher percentage increases, according to Forbes, which reports that Tesla “sells better than all of the top brands. range, including Audi, Acura, Cadillac, Volvo, Lincoln, Land Rover, Porsche, Infiniti, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar and eight other premiums with sales of less than 1,000 per month.

In fact, the only three premiums that topped Elon Musk and Co.’s sales were Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, narrowly – and apparently not for long.

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About the Author

Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. Award winning writer Andrew was once one of the youngest nationally distributed columnists for the nation’s largest newspaper union, the Gannett News Service. He worked as the business editor for amNewYork, the most circulated newspaper in Manhattan, and as the editor for, a financial publication at the heart of the Wall Street investor community in New York.

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