Posted by: David Kiley on March 31, 2009
Ford’s gameplan seems to be working. The automaker has stayed clear so far of government TARP loans. Nobody is tossing around the word bankruptcy in connection with Ford. It has a brand new redesigned F Series pickup truck, and a Fusion sedan that keeps getting boosted by third parties like Consumer Reports.
When automakers post March sales tomorrow, Ford is expected to post a retail market share gain for the fifth time in six months. Assuming it delivers, it is the only company among the Big Six (GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Nissan) to post as good a retail share record over the same period of time.
Ford’s overall market share through February was 13.8%, according to Autodata, for Ford-Lincoln-Mercury. That is down from 15% in the first two months of last year. But Ford is selling far fewer vehicles to rental car agencies this year, and is concentrating its efforts on beefing up the share of cars sold to consumers.
The Fusion, I am told, is one of the prime movers. It has been refreshed for the 2010 model year, and the company has begun advertising the Hybrid version of the car, which gets 41 mpg on the highway.
Ford has actually cut back on some incentives at a time when Chrysler, GM, Hyundai and other automakers have increased them.
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