Ford Beats Chevy As 2006 Best-selling Brand
Plant closures, waning sales, striking losses and job cuts – these and more miseries challenged Ford in the previous years. The miseries seem unending and Ford finds it hard to cope with the challenges. However, one thing that the automaker should be thankful about is the fact that it was named the 2006 Best-selling Brand, a title snatched back from Chevy.
Ford managed to generate enough sales volume in 2006 to get back the much-coveted auto title. Last year, GMs Chevy brand got the title by selling 2,415,059 Chevys and 2,396,532 to Chevrolets. GM, like Ford, also reported 13 percent sales decline in December. For the entire year, Ford suffered an 8.7 percent drop in sales.
However, Ford F-Series parts seem to have retained its victorious stigma. The bread and butter pickup truck of the automaker has won the popularity contest among light trucks. On the one hand, Toyota bagged retained its title among cars. The overwhelming demand for Toyota light trucks boosts the automaker's sales in the United States. Toyota claims that its 2006 sales were up by about 13 percent. Compared to its 2005 sales, Ford's 2006 sales were down by 8 percent. Further, its truck sales is down by 14 percent. This has dragged Ford's performance downwards.
The lackluster plight of Ford has led to the cessation of Taurus and Freestar production. The use of car parts Ford Taurus created a milestone design. Unfortunately, Ford decided to halt production of the mentioned sedan and minivan to focus on Edge and Lincoln MKX. "We suspended production in early November so we could zero in on our production of the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX," said Anne Marie Gattari,
Freestar, like Taurus, had become largely a vehicle for rental fleets. Also, Ford's minivan sales drop from more than 250,000 units in 2000 to less than 86,000 in 2005. According to Autodata,, Freestar sales dropped by 35 percent through November. Ford intends to resume building minivan early this year. "We're giving our customers what they want," Gattari added.
Ford is expected to cut North American production by 14 percent in the first quarter of 2007. George Pipas, Ford's sales analyst, said it wasn't clear whether the Freestar's elimination would increase that figure. Pipas added, "It's just too early to tell at this point."
About the Author: Jay Stevens works as a consultant for an established auto parts store in the country. He has expertise in automotive technology and has extensive knowledge on the auto parts industry.