Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Toyota Soars, Ford Sinks

Gee, I never saw this coming.
Toyota Motor Corp. continued to gobble up market share in 2006, passing DaimlerChrysler AG as the No. 3 auto seller in the U.S. for the first time during a full calendar year.

The company had its best year ever in 2006, with sales up 12.9 percent for the year at more than 2.5 million vehicles.
What happened to poor Ford?
Ford sales dropped nearly 13 percent last month compared with December 2005, and they were off 8 percent for the year at about 2.9 million vehicles. Ford attributed the decline to a drop in truck and sport utility vehicle sales and the end of production for the Taurus sedan.
And how did Toyota do it?
Industry analysts say the Japanese automaker benefited from its reputation for quality and fuel efficiency as gasoline prices sent consumers fleeing to cars from trucks and sport utility vehicles during much of the year.
And what is Ford's brilliant strategy to counter Toyota?
Ford has said it is not focused on keeping market share, but rather wants to sell cars at a profit. The company lost $7 billion during the first three quarters of 2006 and is in the midst of a major restructuring plan to shrink its factory capacity to match lower consumer demand.
Goodbye Ford. You are done.

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