Toyota president did a 'happy dance' after beating GM in sales, remains skeptical about all-electric future

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Toyota president Akio Toyoda said he was overjoyed when his company outsold General Motors in the U.S. last year.

"I actually did a little 'happy dance' in my office," Toyoda said. "Thankfully nobody saw it!"

Toyoda made the admission to reporters at the company's dealer meeting in Las Vegas last week.

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Akio Toyoda has led the automaker since 2009. (Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Toyota delivered 2.332 million cars to GM's 2.218 million during the parts supply-constrained year to dethrone its rival for the first time since 1931. It was also the world's top-selling automaker for the year.

Toyota held on to the top spot in the U.S. through the first quarter of 2022, but General Motors was able to overtake it in the second quarter to pull ahead for the first half of the year. GM has committed to having an all-electric light duty vehicle lineup in the U.S. by 2035.

Toyota is planning a full lineup of EVs to be sold alongside internal combustion engine models. (AP)

Toyoda also addressed the upcoming California electric car mandate that several other states, including New York, are expected to adopt, which would ban the sale of cars and light trucks that are not fully electric or plug-in hybrid by 2035.

He rejected criticism of Toyota's roll-out of all-electric models in favor of a mix of vehicles that includes traditional hybrids and non-hybrids.

Toyota was the world’s best-selling automaker in 2021. (Akio Kon/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"Playing to win means playing with all the cards in the deck – not just a select few," he said in a video shown to dealers.

"So that’s our strategy, and we’re sticking to it."

Toyota dealer Steve Gates, who owns several outlets, agreed and told Reuters that "you can't make a living just selling EVs."

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"Just like the fully autonomous cars that we were all supposed to be driving by now, [battery electric vehicles] are just going to take longer to become mainstream than the media would like us to believe," Toyoda also said.

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Ford CEO Jim Farley, who was previously the group vice president and general manager of Toyota's Lexus division in the United States, told FOX Business in September that Ford is following similar strategy that includes "aggressive" investments in internal combustion engine vehicles like the Mustang and F-Series Super duty pickups alongside its all-electric models, saying that he does not think the car market is "monolithic" and ready to go all-electric soon.

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