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Friday, January 8, 2010

Automakers Post Second Best Month of 2009

By Shawn Langlois, MarketWatch

Ford, Asian manufacturers shine while Chrysler, GM post declines

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) - Automakers slammed the books Tuesday on one of their worst years in decades while eagerly touting December's 15% surge in U.S. car sales as evidence that 2010 is going to be far better.

Ford Motor Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!f/quotes/nls/f (F 11.69, +0.03, +0.26%) led the charge, breaking further away from still-struggling Detroit rivals.

George Pipas, Ford's top sales analyst, said the double-digit improvement represents the best year-over-over performance for the group since the employee-pricing promotion sent sales soaring back in July 2005.

F 11.69, +0.03, +0.26%

151050MMJSNThe closely watched seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales, or SAAR, came to 11.25 million cars and trucks last month, according to Autodata. That tops every month in 2009 except August, which got a huge boost from the U.S. government's cash-for-clunkers rebate program.

Specifically, Ford Motor Co. said its U.S. sales jumped 33%, while rivals General Motors Co. and Chrysler, both recovering from stints in bankruptcy, said they sold even fewer cars in December than they did a year ago, when the market appeared to be in freefall.

"Ford's plan is working," said Ken Czubay, the company's head of sales and marketing. "It was a challenging and very volatile year. ... For 2010, I'm leaving my seat belt on, because I think that volatility is still an element of the 'new norm.'"

Ford sales totaled 184,655 cars and trucks, up from 139,067 vehicles a year earlier, easily topping Wall Street's targets for the month.

Sales of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury branded cars rose 42% to 61,195 vehicles. Volvo, which Ford is in the process of selling, registered a 13.8% rise to 5,638 vehicles.

The truck side, boosted by big gains from the top-selling F-Series pickup, jumped 29.4% to 117,822 vehicles.

Ford said it likely garnered about 15% of the market, up 1 percentage point from 2008 -- marking the first year-on-year increase in the company's market share since 1995.

Ford reports a rally in U.S. salesFord ends 2009 with a sales rally, reporting a 33% surge in December.
Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford has benefited from a relatively fresh lineup along with goodwill garnered from avoiding bankruptcy and declining to take money in a federal bailout, unlike Chrysler and GM.

Investors embraced Ford's report, running the company's shares up as high as $11.24 to touch levels not seen since 2005. The stock finished the session up 6.6% at $10.96 and has now added 325% in the past year.

GM, Chrysler slip
GM handed in a 6.1% sales decline to 208,511 from 221,983 a year ago, blaming a drop in sales of rental cars and brands not considered to be part of GM's future.

The company said it expects sales for the industry to tally about 10.6 million vehicles for the entire year, marking the lowest level since 1982.


J.R. Baumann said... least Ford knows what the hell it's doing. GM was taken over by the Obaminator and even with government support it's flappin' it's gills like a fish outta water. Makes you wonder what the hell our future policies of the next three years are going to look like LOL

Lee said...

Yeah...I agree with you J.R. Let's hope that the first project that GM kills is not the "Volt". We are all eagerly awaiting it's arrival, at around $25,000 I would go get one tomorrow!

The next three years will be interesting if nothing else!