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Ford outsells GM, Toyota sales fall hard

A number of things transpired last month to paint most of our By the Numbers table below green. A minor contribution can be credited to Toyota and its recall woes, the effect of which has been that many other automakers are grabbing conquest sales from the wounded Japanese automaker.

The Toyota Camry for instance, long the best-selling car in the U.S., moved 16,552 units last month compared to 20,634 the year before, a drop of almost 20 percent. The Ford Fusion, which has been gaining sales on the back of positive reviews and a mantel full of awards, sold 16,459 units last month. That's a 117-percent sales increase compared to last year, some of which we have to believe is directly attributable to customers turning away from Toyota and the Camry. (Note: The Honda Accord beat them both with 22,456 sales, though the new Crosstour accounts for 2,432 of those sales, and the Nissan Altima fell below the Fusion with 16,198 sales.)

The major contributing factor to so many brands and companies reporting positive sales results in February is the fact that sales in February of last year were so dismal. It's easy to be in the green when the bar has been reset so low. That said, Ford Motor Company's performance in particular has to be noted, as it now stands as the largest domestic U.S. automaker after selling more vehicles last month than General Motors (142,285 vs. 141,951), a feat that hasn't happened for 12 years. Expect it to happen a lot more as GM's non-core brands wind down into non-existence.

Brand Vol % February 2010 February 2009 DSR*% DSR 2/10 DSR 2/09
Buick 47.21 9,121 6,196 47.21 380 258
Ford 46.30 123,507 84,422 46.30 5,146 3,518
Volvo 38.29 4,641 3,356 38.29 193 140
Subaru 38.27 18,098 13,089 38.27 754 545
Audi 33.59 6,216 4,653 33.59 259 194
Volkswagen 32.62 18,116 13,660 32.62 755 569
Chevrolet 32.35 99,999 75,555 32.35 4,167 3,148
Nissan 31.86 63,148 47,890 31.86 2,631 1,995
Cadillac 31.76 9,273 7,038 31.76 386 293
GMC 26.24 20,456 16,204 26.24 852 675
Mercury 24.49 7,456 5,989 24.49 311 250
Lincoln 18.60 6,681 5,633 18.60 278 235
Land Rover 17.93 2,032 1,723 17.93 84.7 72
Acura 16.71 8,939 7,659 16.71 372 319
BMW 16.34 15,100 12,979 16.34 629 541
Honda 12.23 71,732 63,916 12.23 2,989 2,663
Hyundai 11.05 34,004 30,621 11.05 1,417 1,276
Infiniti 10.72 7,041 6,359 10.72 293 265
Chrysler 9.06 16,925 15,519 9.06 705 647
Kia 8.97 24,052 22,073 8.97 1,002 920
Dodge 8.36 32,975 30,430 8.36 1,374 1,268
Jeep 6.37 23,339 21,941 6.37 972 914
Lexus 5.18 13,787 13,108 5.18 574 546
Mercedes-Benz 4.73 14,870 14,199 4.73 620 592
Mazda 3.98 17,054 16,401 3.98 711 683
Mini 1.59 2,871 2,826 1.59 120 118
Porsche 0.86 1,531 1,518 0.86 63.8 63
Jaguar -3.79 761 791 -3.79 31.7 33
Mitsubishi -10.37 4,019 4,484 -10.37 167 187
Toyota -10.61 86,240 96,475 -10.61 3,593 4,020
Ram -30.63 11,210 16,160 -30.63 467 673
(Saturn) -58.58 2,625 6,338 -58.58 109 264
Smart -68.76 442 1,415 -68.76 18.4 59
(Hummer) -71.89 296 1,053 -71.89 12.3 44
(Saab) -86.38 97 712 -86.38 4.04 30
(Pontiac) -99.41 84 14,200 -99.41 4 592
Suzuki NA NA
Ford Mo Co 43.14 142,285 99,400 43.14 5,929 4,142
Nissan NA 29.38 70,189 54,249 29.38 2,925 2,260
BMW Group 13.70 17,971 15,805 13.70 749 659
American Honda 12.71 80,671 71,575 12.71 3,361 2,982
General Motors 11.51 141,951 127,296 11.51 5,915 5,304
Jaguar Land Rover 10.97 2,793 2,517 10.97 116 105
Chrysler Group 0.47 84,449 84,050 0.47 3,519 3,502
Toyota Mo Co -8.72 100,027 109,583 -8.72 4,168 4,566
*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 24 selling days in February 2010 and 24 selling days in February 2009, so the change in monthly sales volume will be the same as the change in the average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why do you not list the VW group in your company listing?
      • 5 Years Ago
      As several have said, comparing Feb 2010 to a terrible Feb 2009 is not too informative. Here is the percentage reduction (bad) that each company had in Feb 2010 compared to the average of the previous three Febs.

      -40.0% GM
      -38.0% Chrysler - Better than GM? Who knew?
      -37.4% Toyota - Now you can see how much Toyota has been impacted by the recall
      -28.9% All Makes
      -18.5% Honda
      -16.6% BMW
      -15.8% Ford
      -06.7% Nissan

      Before the recall mess (Dec 09), Toyota was second best in this comparison.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I track against the sales high-water-mark since mid-07:

        GM - 39%
        Toyota -40%

      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm so happy Ford is doing well because it means my stock will be doing well too. I am also hoping Ford continues to outsell GM (I don't have nothing against GM, I just love Ford). It's nice to see all of the Big 3 post positive numbers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So how did they come up with the Ram numbers?

      I suspect part of the drop is due to the fact that the Dakota is all but dead, and last year the Durango was on the sales floor, where as they don't make it any more. I am seeing a lot of new Rams on the road around here.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It seems that the Ram Pickup is to blame for most of that drop. This despite Chrylser putting a smiley face on the figures saying that the Ram sales are up 3% over last month. Maybe so, but they are down almost 30% compared to the same month last year which was already a weak year.

        Chrysler's figures show that they break down the RAM brand as including the Ram Pickup, Dakota and Sprinter. The Durango is oddly branded as a Dodge.

        Here are the Feb. 2010 sales for each:

        Ram P/U - 10,267
        Dakota - 891
        Sprinter - 52

        and the Feb. 2009 sales for the same models:
        Ram P/U - 14,448
        Dakota - 1,334
        Sprinter - 378

        That over 4,000 fewer sales for the month for the Ram P/U. A pretty big chunk when the whole division sold just over 11K total.

        Info taken from here: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/chrysler-group-llc-reports-february-2010-us-sales-increase-slightly-85979532.html
      • 5 Years Ago
      Fleet sales .... how much of Ford's cars are selling to fleets such as rent a cars and corporations ??? Numbers just aren't matching .
      • 5 Years Ago

      You want to compare apples to apples?

      From Fortune Magazine:

      "Driven by CEO Whitacre, GM is clearly operating under a mandate to boost unit sales and revenue. Nearly a third of its February sales were made to fleets, with fleet sales expected to rise for the next several months."


      Let's see, that means nearly 50,000 GM unit sales came from fleets!

      Sigh. Do the math.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What is Ford selling to the fleets? The Focus and the Fusion seem to be the only products fleets would want. I hope they don't fall back on them because that's what killed the Taurus and Ford's overall image. I'm not too afraid though because the new Fiesta, Focus, and C-Max are going to be too upscale for fleets...well one hopes anyway. I'm not surprised with the results, but Toyota will most likely come back to normal levels later this spring. I can see Ford, GM, and Toyota all toying for # 1. However, I think Hyundai is really eating into Toyota sales and now Nissan? Wow. Nissan has nice cars, but you would think Toyota people would move over to Honda.

        • 5 Years Ago
        See above Sguy.

        Ford has many models that are fleet only. They include the Town Car, the Crown Victoria, and the Transit Connect. They also have the Escape, which has a high fleet percentage, due to being used as taxis. The Focus, being in its last year, will have alot of fleet sales, and is usually bought by government agencies.

        These models would be the majority of the fleet sales.

        Ford embraces non rental fleet sales, as they should. Or, would one rather their local/federal governments and police departments buy foreign??
        • 5 Years Ago
        Regarding Ford fleet sales... I've been seeing an awful lot of Transit Connects on the road. Not all fleet sales are cars. They move quite a few trucks and vans that way too.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Do Ford still have that sweet deal with the Postal Service? You know, the one where they promised to supply electric vehicles but couldn't. So instead they turned up with about 6 million Freestars and said "Take it or leave it".
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's awesome to see GM's efforts with Buick are paying off.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Indeed. Buick, Caddy, and GMC are *each* outselling Lincoh and Mercury; GMC outsells L-M combined... So I'd hazard a guess that Ford selling an extra few vehicles didn't drive nearly the profit that GM did. Still kudos to the Big Two for bumping up over the worst Feb in recent memory.

        Chrysler, well, while a half-point over last year is an improvement, it's nowhere near keeping pace with guys pulling double-digit gains.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Indeed, the new Buicks look good! They are high quality too (JD Powers)! I'm REALLY impressed with Ford overall! They beat even GM.. Actually GM and Toyota! They are clearly the up and coming company!

        What baffles me is they are doing so well right now and they have SO much more coming and to do! I'm just baffled! It's going to be interesting to watch!

        • 5 Years Ago
        Buick out sold acura!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's a shame how Honda has become such a sorry car company. They have lost their direction and soul.

        Also, Porsche is quiet this year, but I believe that once that new Cayenne and lower costing Panamara start hitting the show rooms, it's going to start looking up.

        Ford and GM are up, which is expected.

        Mini is down, which is expected as well. They have nothing new to offer after 7 years. Who can even tell the difference between the old and new models. Mini = New Beetle.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @laser: I saw some new LaCrosses this past weekend. In Miami. Driven by old people. Buick is not resurgent amongst the young. No Way. No How.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I really wish AB would clarify FMC vs Ford brand, instead of using "Ford".

        I think even in months where GM beat FMC, often Ford beats Chevy, and then Buick beats Mercury, and Cadillac trounces Lincoln.
        • 5 Years Ago
        btw, Ford is a biggest winner of toyota scandal.
        Even they surpass GM last month sales.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Chrysler sales increased? Looks like the rental fleet buyers are back!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Retail versus fleet are not the same as in sale. Profitability is much less (almost non-existent) and fleet sales have a large impact on the resale value of the cars and the brand. 2-3 years later these fleet cars will be sold at wholesale auctions instead of private sale or trade ins reducing the retail cars resale values (keeping buyers in debt longer as their equity is still behind their payments).

        January / February has seen a huge increase in fleet sales and GM, Ford, Chrysler, Hyundai & Kia sell a lot of cars to fleets (even Toyota to some extent). Though in the short run it is a "sale" in the long run it is not as good a sale as the MFGR hoped.
        • 5 Years Ago
        A sale is a sale. And based on these numbers, the 1.1million vehicles Sergio wants this year is obtainable.

        But man, does Chrysler ever need to get their new and 'refreshed' product out NOW.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Chrysler fleet sales are back with a vengeance!

        84,500 total Crycorp sold
        - 49,000 fleet sales (58%!!!)
        = 35,500 retail sales

        Compare with:
        34,000 Hyundai
        + 24,000 Kia

        9,000+ Buick
        9,000+ Caddy
        20,500 GMC

        Crycorp has a real problem.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Chrysler still outsold Honda and Nissan. That's a good sign.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think they are finally hitting rock bottom. They got a boost from Toyota's fall but the last couple of months it looked like the bleeding at Chrysler was beginning to slow sales wise. Lord only knows financially how they are doing. At 85,000 units a month they are a shadow of their old Big 3 status but now that things are stabilizing for them they may be able to right size operations and hold on until the Italian products arrive.

        Buick and Ford earned their success Toyota story or not. The new LaCrosse is the best production GM vehicle I have ever sat in. It makes the Caddies look bad. Ford is at the top of their game with great products and even more to come.

        For a company like Toyota a drop in volume like they are seeing is quite painful. Add on the costs of trying to market themselves out of this mess and recalls and this is a sad picture. They are going to need to reinvent themselves.

        Honda is another big story here. The fact that people are choosing Ford and Nissan as replacements for Toyota over Honda is a crushing defeat for them. Conventional wisdom would have had the Accord and Civic picking up virtually all of the Import buyers. The Altima and Fusion and even the stale Focus and Sentra appear to be gaining steam. Honda needs to get some excitement back in their lineup. As a company that basically survives on two models (Accord and Civic) they can't afford to see those models fall from grace with buyers.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's worth remembering that in February 2009, Chrysler slapped big rebates on the hoods of every vehicle they sold in order to whittle down their then-bloated inventory. As a result, their sales for that month were artificially high, and they lost money on every vehicle they sold. These days, the rebates are far less extensive, and the inventory is still thin for some models, so a 1% increase is a minor miracle regardless of how it was done. It looks to me like Chrysler has found the bottom, and should improve from here. They won't have to work as hard in March or April to stay in the ballpark of their 2009 sales -- and don't be surprised if Chrysler swings firmly over the positive side by May, since May 2009 is when Chrysler entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy, production was halted, and sales cratered. (The new Jeep Grand Cherokee begins production in May as well.)
        • 5 Years Ago
        You're darn right a sale is a sale. Chrysler new cars are on the way and I am very excited to see what they are going to present. The car now know as the Sebring is in for some big changes later this year.


        The Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country continued their domination with combined sales of 4,415 units, an increase of 47% over last year. This is the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains for the company’s minivans, which have an astounding 85% market share. The Dodge Grand Caravan was the No. 2 selling nameplate in the country, easily overcoming rivals in the SUV segment, the crossover segment, and the small car segment.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Funny Narf. However if you had a brain and used it, you would know that fleet sales are actually down compared to last year, as chrysler has been reducing fleet sales gradually over time.

        Thanks though.

        On a side note, it looks like Ram really brought chrysler group down as every other one of their brands was up by 6-9%. Ford is doing good. I'm surprised GM is keeping their numbers almost the same with 4 defunct brands. Toyota isn't hurting too bad, only 8%. Wonder how good Hyundai group did?
        • 5 Years Ago
        The only way Chrysler got away with so many sales is because of the ridiculous rebates they put on the hoods of their vehicles to get rid of their inventory. I could have gotten an Avenger SXT for cheaper than a Focus or a Civic.

        If I am not mistaken, Chrysler made very little or no money on a lot of those vehicles...

        Pretty bad when I could have leased a Charger SXT for like $200 a month....and that was without a Chrysler Employee discount.
        • 5 Years Ago

        Dodge Grand Caravan was number 2 selling namplate in the country? In what year? 1985? In the article itself, it quotes at least four nameplates that sell stronger than the Grand Caravan.

        On a completely different note, it is amazing how quickly perception can switch with the general public in just a matter of a couple years. Two years ago, Ford was just another American car company that was doomed to fail. Now, it is the pre-eminent automaker from the US and is kicking @ss and taking names with cars like the Fusion, Mustang 5.0, Fiesta, Edge, etc..

        Keep it up Ford; I'm rooting for you!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm pretty sure some people commenting have no clue what they're talking about. Fleet sales have actually rebounded a lot and account for a significant amount of the huge boost for February.
        In fact, 40% of Ford's February sales were fleet sales. Chrysler does *not* break out fleet sales but I would suspect that their fleet sales numbers are similarly high.
        Ford's retail sales are up as well but retail sales are only up 28% year on year while overall sales were up over 46%, so fleet sales went up a lot more than retail sales.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pontiac only sold 84 cars? When is Pontiac done? Too bad, the G8 is a nice car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota sales number is holding up surprisingly well.. considering all the recall and media fiasco that follows it. I was expecting a number that's a lot lower. Not bad.

      It prob still is the best time to buy Toyota if you wanted one.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Of course it's wholly possible Toyota's sales weren't worse because folks who refuse to believe there's any problem ran out to make a deal while they can. The real test will be in three months.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Only problem is that Toyota failed miserably to follow the general trend of it's competitors.

        Also bear in mind that toyota sales fell in February 2009 by 37.5 percent. Throw in a drop this year of 10.61 and things are not swell. Although I am with you as I too am surprised with all the negative Toyota news, that sales are not lower.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Elsewhere around the world, Toyota's numbers have been going up actually. Toyota sales increased by 25% in Canada. So yes, the American government and media have had a huge impact on sales in the US.
        • 5 Years Ago
        As of last month, Toyota is actually underperforming GM from a sales v capacity standpoint. In Feb, due to Crycorp's fleet bump, Toyota is the absolute worst performer among all majors. There's no polishing that turd.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm almost comforted by this data in that American cars are benefiting from the proverbial 'ball dropping' of Toyota, the long time consumer darling. I can't help but but suspect that Toyota will bounce back in the next few years - minor glitch. In the meantime I'll stick to buying used RELIABLE cars that haven't been recalled. I found my Volvo at www.americanlisted.com - I might buy new next time around...
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