March sales don't end until Thursday evening, but an Edmunds sales forecast suggests that Ford could beat General Motors in sales for the first time since February, 2010. The Blue Oval is projected to sell 210,000 vehicles for the month, up 34 percent from February figures. Edmunds sees GM having a solid month as well, but the crystal ball sees 208,000 sales for The General, up less than one percent from February sales.
One reason for GM's sales slump is a reduction in incentives from February levels, as the Detroit, MI-based automaker slashed incentives by an average of $700 per vehicle. That sounds like a massive drop in rebates, but keep in mind that GM was the industry leader in incentive spending for the first two months of the year. Meanwhile, Ford bumped up spending by a reported $84 per vehicle, mostly due to an effort to clear last-generation Focus sales as the 2012 models begin heading into dealerships.
Edmunds also sees a big March for the rest of the industry, with Toyota expected to move 181,000 units, followed by 135,000 vehicles for Honda, 117,000 for Nissan and 112,000 for Chrysler. Don't forget that these are merely projections for March numbers, and anything can happen between now and Friday.
Edmunds also mentions that sales dropped off as March wore on, as the Japan disaster, international conflicts and high gas prices began to wear on sales. Stay tuned to Autoblog for our official By The Numbers post as the figures roll in.
[Source: Edmunds Auto Observer | Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty]