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DECEMBER AUTO SALES



Toyota overtakes Ford in U.S. sales


Richard Truett
and Ryan Beene

Automotive News | January 3, 2008 - 1:44 pm EST




DETROIT -- Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. took over Ford Motor Co. in U.S. sales in 2007, bumping the Detroit automaker to the No.3 spot.

Toyota last year sold 61,962 more cars and light trucks than Ford, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Toyota sold 2.62 million vehicles during the year while Ford sold 2.56 million. Toyota’s total U.S. market share now stands at 16.8 percent to Ford’s 16.4 percent.

But that doesn’t bother Ford marketing chief Jim Farley, who left Toyota last fall to join Ford.

The company’s focus is on restructuring operations to be profitable at lower demand levels, Farley said in a conference call to reporters and analysts.

"We've been beating our plan like a drum," he said.

From a marketing standpoint, part of the overall restructuring plan is to eliminate the gap between the public’s negative perception of Ford products and their actual quality.

“There’s a whole litany of reasons why customers can trust Ford,” Farley said during the conference call.

Farley said he plans on reaching customers by “shifting our message to reach out in a very humble and honest way to tell our customers what makes Ford special. We won’t be spending more money, just reallocating where we spend it,” he said.

December sales

Ford's December sales fell 9 percent from the year-ago month while sales for the year declined 11.8 percent from 2006.

For the full year, it seems as if every piece of good news for Ford is countered by something negative. For example:


Though the F-150 pickup retains its crown as the nation’s top-selling vehicle for the 31st straight year, its sales were down 13.2 percent for the year. F-series sales totaled 690,589 in 2007, down from 796,039 in 2006.


With a 9 percent sales gain for the year, Lincoln’s sales slump may be over. But Lincoln logged a 21.4 percent drop in December sales. Powered by new vehicles such as the MKZ sedan and MKX crossover, Lincoln’s 2007 sales totaled 131,487 for 2007, up from 120,476 in 2006.


Sales of Ford’s crossover vehicles topped the internal sales projection for the year by 30 percent.
But the Explorer, once Ford’s cash cow and the nation’s best-selling SUV, finished a dismal year with sales down 18 percent from 2006.

Counting all of Ford’s brands, 2007 sales totaled 2.55 million units, down 11.8 percent from 2.90 million in 2006.

Toyota: big gains, but a few potholes

Toyota hit a pothole in December, posting a 1.7 percent dip over December 2006. And, in a rare misfire, Toyota failed to meet its sales target of 200,000 for the new Tundra pickup. Despite heavy incentives this summer and fall, Tundra sales for the year totaled 196,555.

But in terms of sales, that's about all that didn't go well for Toyota in 2007.


Camry once again is America's favorite family sedan with sales of 473,108


Prius blew the doors off every other hybrid in sales and commands more than 50 percent of the market. Prius sales set a record in 2007 at 181,221, a 53 percent gain over 2006


Lexus remains the top-selling brand of luxury cars. Sales for the year were 329,177, up from 322,343 in 2006.

GM down, but optimistic

General Motors' sales fell 4.4 percent for December and 6.0 percent for the year. But as with Ford, there were at least few bright spots:


Retail sales for the month were up 1.5 percent.


Five divisions posted retail sales gains for the year: Pontiac, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Saturn.


Dealer inventories of unsold vehicles are down 147,000 units over last year at this time and are at a 13-year low.


GM whacked about 108,000 units of sales to rental car fleets. GM sold about 596,000 units to rental fleets in 2007, a 9-year low.

For the year, GM sold 3.82 million vehicles, down from 4.06 million sold in 2006.

Volkswagen AG, meanwhile, sold 29,359 vehicles in the United States last month, down 9.6 percent from the same month a year ago. For 2007, VW sold 328,068 vehicles in the United States, down 0.3 percent from 2006. The figures include Audi sales.


Source: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080103/ANA02/794673573/1078&template=printart
 

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If you don't know my friend, you must have been living in another planet.
It was a rhetorical question. :D Its a sad day for America too my friend. How can we be buying imports without putting much research into it?
The attitudes people have towards GM and Ford belong to the early 1980s
 

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It was a rhetorical question. :D Its a sad day for America too my friend. How can we be buying imports without putting much research into it?
The attitudes people have towards GM and Ford belong to the early 1980s
More like late 90s and early 00s. But I agree with you, American iron is not getting the respect it deserves.
 

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I never thought I would see an American Automaker being outsold by a Japanese Automaker in it's own country. So Sad :(
 

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When a auto manufacturer prioritizes trucks and SUV's over cars, and then gas doubles in price…sales drop.

But I hope none of you will be surprised when Ford applies the same effort and engineering ability that produces the best trucks in the world, to also produce the best smaller and more efficient cars -- which will soon help sell even more products.
Heck, engineering small cars is easy compared to large capable trucks. It's finding a way to make them profitable that is the challenge. Just because nobody wanted small cars several years ago, does not equate to can't produce them.

Fact: Ford will launch 9, count-em…NINE new products in 2008. That does not include all the new powertrains and cool features like sync upgrades, glass roof features, etc. Ford is busy producing and has sooo much more coming after that too!!
 
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