By Chris Haak
Not content to watch many of its primary rivals struggle without any response, Ford has clearly seized the initiative in the monthly sales race as the economy slowly climbs its way out of the Great Recession. GM is weakened by the stigma of its 2009 bankruptcy, production constraints, and the loss of Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, and Saab. Chrysler is weakened by a thin product lineup in desperate need of update. Toyota is still reeling from its millions of recalled vehicles. Meanwhile, Ford has climbing quality scores, did not need bankruptcy or a bailout, and is in the thick of a series of new-model launches. In fact, for the first time in more than a decade, Ford managed to top GM’s US sales. GM has held the annual sales crown in the US since the 1930s.
Ford’s February 2010 performance was very impressive – more than triple the overall industry’s 13 percent gain in February – ringing in at a 43 percent gain in the US. Leading the charge for Ford was the Fusion midsize sedan, which saw an impressive 116.5 percent gain over February 2009. Overall, each Ford car model was up at least 38.4%, and collectively the cars were up 63.1 percent. Ford utilities (SUVs and crossovers) were up 41.4 percent, with all current models showing double-digit gains, and Ford trucks were all in positive territory with the exception of heavy trucks. Combined, Ford trucks were up 36.2%.