General Motors and Chrysler are knee deep in bankruptcy proceedings, with many plants closed for weeks on end. With Ford's domestic competition embroiled in financial distress, the Blue Oval has a unique opportunity to grab market share. Ford has experienced share growth for six of the past seven months, and it plans a larger assault on sales increases in the third quarter. As such, FoMoCo plans on upping its Q3 production by 10% to capitalize on the situation.

The Dearborn, MI-based automaker plans to increase production to 460,000 units from Q3 2008's total of 418,000 cars and trucks. While many calls have been trumpeted to increase car sales because customers want more fuel efficient products, Ford is actualy decreasing its car production from 184,000 units to 150,000. The big volume increase falls squarely into the truck category. The move to increase truck production is a gamble for Ford, considering the fact that gas prices are inching upward. Truck demand could see a shot in the arm, though, as construction work from the $788 billion stimulus plan starts to take effect.

Despite the fact that Ford is taking full advantage of the situation at Chrysler and GM, the automaker insists that it isn't merely dancing on its long-time competitor's graves. Ford President Mark Fields told The Wall Street Journal that he feels for his competitors, but "This is not a case of 'Gee, let's stick it to them.' We have been watching our inventory levels and we've seen our market share grow. This is really just us working our plan."

If that plan includes taking share from ailing GM and Chrysler, the Blue Oval seems to be okay with that. We're guessing they'd be just as happy to take share from Honda or Toyota.

[Source: Wall Street Journal]

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