By Tim Beissmann
Ford sales have increased 21.1 percent through the first 11 months of 2010, climbing more than 300,000 units to 1,741,343.
At the same time, Toyota Motor Sales USA will slip to third by the end of this year, after battling to regain consumer confidence in the wake of the corporation’s largest ever vehicle recalls.
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 GFC-driven 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.
“The last time Ford gained one or more points of market share was in the ’80s,” Mr Pipas said, as reported by The Detroit News. “It’s the first time since 1993 that we have gained share in the U.S. back-to-back two years in a row.”
He said Ford expects the small car market to grow significantly in 2011 – a market that Ford US has invested heavily in with the Fiesta and new Focus.
“There’s more pent-up demand in the small vehicle market than in any other segment,” reported Bloomberg.
“The demographic shifts are very powerful. Baby boomers are not only downsizing their autos, they’re downsizing their homes.”
General Motors remains the highest selling brand in the US, and is expected to sell in excess of 2.13 million vehicles in 2010.
In total, more than 11 million light vehicles will be sold in the US in 2010. Annualised sales for December 2010 are expected to top 12 million, making it the third month in a row above that mark.
Despite the upward trend, the market is still a long way behind where it was for much of the past decade, when average annual sales were 16.8 million (between 2000 and 2007).
Looking ahead to 2011, Mr Pipas said the total market figures would be strong.
“We think sales for the year will be above 12 million, and perhaps closer to 13 million.”