Ford Motor Co's US vehicle sales slipped further, pushing the No 2 US automaker down to the fourth slot. Ford's sales has been overtaken by its Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp for the second time, and now by Germany's DaimlerChrysler AG as well.
Ford, which also detailed planned production cuts, announced a 9.7 per cent decline in its November 2006 sales compared with the same period a year ago. Ford slipped in rankings, even as industry sales have risen a modest 2.9 per cent to nearly 1.2 million vehicles.
The world's largest automaker GM registered the highest sales growth of 293,558 vehicles or 6.1 per cent in the US in November 2006 over its sales in November 2005 - the highest sales by volume. Detroit-based GM's market share was 24.5 per cent in November.
Toyota's sales rose to 196,695 vehicles, a 15.9 per cent rise, and DaimlerChrysler reported a 4.7 per cent increase to 186,635 vehicles. Ford, on the other hand, sold 181,111 - down 9.7 per cent from November last year.
This year Ford's US sales are about 2.7 million, down 7.5 per cent from the first 11 months of 2005. In July this year, it sold fewer vehicles in the US than Toyota, though for the next three months it stayed ahead of its Japanese rival
While its light truck sales dropped 13 per cent, the sales of its dominant F-Series pickups fell 16.1 per cent, and passenger car sales fell 2.6 per cent to 61,852. Ford has also lowered its North American production estimates by about 2.5 per cent to 620,000 for the current quarter.
Ford's focus for the turnaround of its North American operations, which CEO Rick Wagoner calls the "Way Forward" rests on its US sales. Wagoner's 'Way Forward' includes planned job and manufacturing cuts. Ford has already reported a $7 billion loss during the first nine months of the year and has said it cannot turn profitable till 2009.
Ford's share of the domestic market has declined from around 26 per cent in the early 1990s to 15.1 per cent in November, while Toyota's share was 16.4 per cent.
It sold 109,985 cars, a 7.9 per cent decline from November 2005, but truck sales rose 16.6 percent to 183,573. The figures also include those of its European brand Saab.