Ford turned in a banner year in 2012. According to The Detroit News, the automaker’s sales output surpassed 2 million vehicles by year’s end, making Ford the only U.S. automaker to do so for the year. The Ford Focus compact led the way, with world-leading sales figures through September, according to a Ford representative.
The world follows Ford
Ford’s record year outpaced the rest of the U.S. market leaders, from Chevrolet and Toyota to Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, KIA, Dodge, Jeep and Volkswagen. In total, Ford sales analyst Erich Merkle expects Ford models to hit the 2.2 million sales mark in the U.S., up from the 2.1 million units sold in 2011. This is the second straight year Ford has passed the sales mark of 2 million vehicles, powering the automaker to the number two mark among the most successful U.S. automakers. Declining market share and difficulty keeping up with consumer demand are the only things that have kept Ford out of the top spot, according to experts. Industry projections had Ford tabbed at 13 percent market gains in 2012, so the automaker did fall short in that area.
Through November, Ford’s U.S. sales were up 5 percent over the previous year, to 2.03 million units sold. Ford’s U.S. light vehicle sales were at a 14 percent market share in 2012, leaving Ford somewhat behind in that category when compared with last year, when light vehicle sales held a 16.8 percent share of the light vehicle market.
Ford’s final 2012 sales numbers will be released on Jan. 3, 2013, reports The Detroit News.
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What Ford is doing to meet demand
Ford knew going in that it would likely have difficult meeting consumer demand, and as such, the slight drop in market share compared with 2011 was expected. CEO Alan Mulally has plans to boost profits via global expansion of Ford brand vehicles, as opposed to selling different versions in various regions. Mulally expects this “One Ford” strategy to make up for the profit drop to $4.07 billion through Sept. 2012 – compared with $6.6 billion last year over the same period – and compensate for overseas challenges.
“Over the last three years, we’ve been moving toward global vehicles,” Merkle said. “And it’s playing out very well here in the U.S., where the Focus will be up 40 percent this year, and in Asia, where Focus is one of the best- selling vehicles in the region.”
Only General Motors outpaced Ford in the U.S. in 2012. GM’s sales were up 4 percent through November compared with 2011, even though it still lost some market share in no small part due to hard-charging Toyota Motor Corp, which trailed Ford in annual sales by 141,746 cars and light trucks through November.
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