A Watershed Moment for Ford ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: A Watershed Moment for Ford

Thursday, June 05, 2008

A Watershed Moment for Ford

The Ford F-150 is no longer the most popular vehicle in the US. In the month of May, four different sedans outsold the F-150 for the first time since 1991. Ford sold 42,973 F-150s. Honda sold 43,728 Accords, Toyota sold 51,292 Camrys (including 5,999 hybrids) and 52,826 Corollas. But the number one seller was the Honda Civic, with 53,299 vehicles sold. That includes 4,676 hybrid Civics.

According to Jim Farley, Ford group vice president for marketing and communications, "...May has been a watershed moment." He also said the loss of the F series' title for the month was a "significant development."

"So I think we're seeing a structural shift where, with the prices being high in the United States, we're seeing exactly what happened in Europe a number of years ago, where the customers are going to make economic decisions, and they're going to move toward smaller and medium-sized vehicles," said CEO Alan Mulally.

But that still doesn't explain it all.

Corolla sales, while up for May by 12.4% are actually down by 9.5% for the year. Camry sales have been flat. Toyota sales were down 4.3% in May, even though Honda and Nissan sales were up.

That gives you a good indication of where the automotive marketplace is right now. But I would still urge caution in promoting any wide-spread conclusions. With high gas prices, economic issues including the housing market in the US, and increasing regulations from the federal governments worldwide, the automotive marketplace is not very stable or easy to put a read on.

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