• Mar 28th 2011 at 9:35AM
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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]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      In the Detroit area Ford is running a really good lease special for the old Focus this month. For 0 down and for 39 months you can get a Fovus for $149 a month. Not bad for a set of new wheels even if it's the old Focus. More importantly than clearing old inventory; by leasing them Ford dealers will get first crack at selling them a new car in 39 months. The Fusion has good lease and buy program as well but the Explorers are selling right around MSRP and the have no rebates and high interest rates.

      GM had huge rebates on the Equinox, Regal, Traverse and CTS in February in the Detroit area. The Cruze had a sweet deal too because you could get one for $5000 off on top of GMS employee pricing which many qualify for.

      The Metro Detroit area is a huge leasing market and all automakers run strong lease programs. VW always has good programs on Jettas, Hyundai on Sonatas, Toyota gives away Camrys and you can always find a deal on the Accord.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Even though it might be closer, I dont believe Ford will outsell GM!!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ford can't built enough of the new Explorers at the moment. They are flying off dealer lots.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Honestly, who gives a crap which company is #1 in sales... they are both doing great, but the most important thing is making a PROFIT on those sales.

      I rather see Company A sell 100k and make $1000 on each car, than Company B sell 200k cars but make only $100 on each vehicle.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The unions should help GM a little a take a pay cut.
      As a hardworking taxpayer I don't want to bail them out again.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Great to see GM vs Ford rivalry back.
        • 4 Years Ago
        GM+govt vs. Ford

        i fixed it for you
      • 4 Years Ago
      GM closed my local Chevy dealer and I'm not going to drive an extra 10 miles to do business with someone I don't really like. Ford, Toyota, and Honda still have dealerships in my community and I will probably purchase one of those products.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Zeus the dumba$$! Would you drive 10 additional miles to do business with someone you had a bad experience with? You might but I won't. If a dealer lies to me, I am done with them.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You would drive 10 more miles to do business with a dealer you had a bad experience with? Read the full comment next time.
        • 4 Years Ago
        10 miles? Are you kidding me? That's such an ungodly distance- I couldn't imagine driving 10 miles to take a look at all that is available to me. No... Let me shun those options because of the horrible distance 10 miles is. Can you imagine paying for all that gas? Jeeeez... 10 miles...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ford did it without screwing shareholders, bondholders and the taxpayers. GM walked away from 169 billion in liabilities. Not counting the bailout.

      Go ford! THE American car company.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ford took money from the government.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Ford took money from the government"

        I see people, usually GM or Chrysler fans, say this all the time hoping to convince those not in the know, that Ford was part of the bailout.

        GM received a bailout and its' liabilities were mostly wiped out. They had 17 billion in liabilities on the books when the exited bankruptcy. 150 billion dollars was just wiped off the books.

        Ford received an energy loan from the Government to develop more fuel-efficient engines. They were not the only ones to receive the loan, but they were one of the first, in part, because they did not need to be bailed out. I believe Nissan and Tesla also received loans around the same time.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Its funny watching people who probably didn't want GM to get loans and wanted to force them to go through bankruptcy now complain about the consequences of GM having gone through bankruptcy. The liabilities they 'walked away from' would have been walked away from under any version of bankruptcy from Liquidation to the Obama Special.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ford didn't file bankruptcy, that's a huge difference.

        To say Ford isn't part of the bailout isn't quite a black and white thing. They received massive amounts of aid in the form of cash for clunkers and a flat-out bailout of their financial arm (see the $9.1B in TALF loans in Ford's SEC filings. Both of these things made it a lot easier for people to buy cars, Ford's cars included.

        'Ford received an energy loan from the Government to develop more fuel-efficient engines.'

        Ford used this money to make capital expenditures, to revamp production facilities and such. Ford takes out more money from this loan every other quarter right now. They took $2.7B of DoE loan money in 2010 alone. They don't begin to repay it for another year or more.

        Tesla and Nissan also received loans from the DoE, that's true. Tesla is also using it for capital expenditures (manufacturing equipment, etc.), I don't know what Nissan is using it for.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oh my Christ, will you people stop with the "screwed the American people" stuff, already? It's been TWO YEARS.
      • 4 Years Ago
      to the guy in the brand-spankin' new Mustang GT convertible trying to catch up to me in my G8 on the highway today....sorry man. get a real sports car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      better up that stack of cash on the hood to a briefcase of cash in the truck GM. Here comes another bail out!
        • 4 Years Ago
        What? GM would still be #2 for the month. GM was #1 in volume for the last while. GM also doesn't have $1,000/car in debt repayment like Ford does.

        But anyway, this is ridiculous, because hearing news about GM and Ford duking it out hasn't been this exciting for years. The US manufacturers are doing awesome. Even Chrysler is picking up some game.
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