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Ford Takes Strong Hold of Number 2 Over Toyota in 2010

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On: Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 1:41PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford Takes Strong Hold of Number 2 Over Toyota in 2010

The U.S. auto industry is expecting auto sales numbers to reach 12 million units for its 2010 annual rate, and is projecting up to 13 million in 2011. December would be the thrid month in a row that the U.S. industry reports a seasonal adjusted annual rate of 12 million or higher, which exceeds the last two years.

Analysts at IHS Automotive project that 2010 sales may total 11.5 million units including cars and light trucks, sales are up from 10.4 million last year. Domestic sales reached 16.8 million from 2000 to 2007. Ford Motor Company sales have risen through the first 11 months of 2010, climbing more than 300,000 units to 1,741,343.

Toyota Motor Sales USA will fall back to third by the end of this year, after its long struggle to regain consumer confidence in the middle of the Japanese automakers’ largest ever world-wide recall.

Toyota sales have risen just 0.2 percent in 2010 to 1,586,107 compared with the total light vehicle market in the US, which is up 11.1 percent year-to-date. The market continues to show strong signs of recovery after the downturn of 2009.

Ford lost second place to Toyota in 2007, but Ford Motor Co.’s market analyst, George Pipas, said it appears the Blue Oval brand will take a strong hold of the No. 2 again.

"We have a high degree of confidence that 2011 is going to be a stronger sales year," George Pipas, Ford's sales analyst, said Monday during a briefing in Dearborn. "We're a whole lot better off than we were a year ago."

Ford’s U.S. deliveries increased 21% in the first 11 months of 2010, which was close to twice the industry average of only an 11% gain. Innovative new designs, such as Ford’s new Fiesta subcompact, as well as the revamped Taurus sedan, have helped Ford to realize an increase in the company’s U.S. market share of 16.7% in 2010 as compared to 15.3% last year, according to Autodata of Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Ford fleet vehicles sales were also up this year, due to the U.S. government and rental car company sales. Ford reports it expects that next year’s gains will be mostly attributed to consumers sales, according to Pipas.

"It will be slow but steady positive growth in 2011," Pipas said, adding that sales in the fourth quarter of 2010 "will be the best since Lehman Brothers went out of business" in the second half of 2008. High unemployment and the sluggish housing market remain "two worry beads" that will slow auto sales growth, Pipas said.


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