Ford, GM, Chrysler sales down in March; Toyota, Mazda, Honda post big gains

Ford, GM, Chrysler sales down in March; Toyota, Mazda, Honda post big gains http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070403/UPDATE/704030439
Domestic auto makers continued their 2007 trend, posting lower sales figures today for March compared to the same period last year. March was the best sales month in 2006 for the industry.
General Motors Corp. said its voluntary reduction in sales to rental-car fleets helped account for its 4.2 percent March decline over last year. The automaker sold 349,867 vehicles in March, compared to 365,375 a year ago.
Ford, which also is withdrawing from the rental-car market, said overall U.S. sales were down 9 percent to 264,975 vehicles, compared to 291,146 a year ago.
The automaker's gains in the mid-size arena -- sales of its Fusion sedan were up more than 47 percent; Milan sales grew by 45 percent -- couldn't offset declines in the SUV and truck categories compared with March 2006.
Both companies said their new crossovers did well in March. Ford sold 10,915 of its Edge model and 3,054 of the Lincoln MKX. GM said its GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook contributed to its 235 percent crossover sales gain.
DaimlerChrysler AG today said March sales were down 4 percent over the same month last year despite a record number of vehicles sold by its Mercedes-Benz USA unit.
Chrysler Group sold 206,435 vehicles in March, down 5 percent from 216,412 in 2006. Mercedes sales were 21,612, up 1 percent from 21,417.
However, the auto maker said, sales of its mid-size Dodge Nitro SUV and Jeep Wrangler recorded their best months ever at 7,532 and 13,397 units respectively.
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. said it sold a record 242, 675 vehicles in March, up 11.7 percent over 217,286 a year ago. The company reported a 133 percent increase in sales of its Prius hybrid sedan.
Meanwhile, Mazda North American Operations announced a 47.9 March sales increase in the United States, compared to 2006. Models recording double-digit gains include the Mazda3, RX-8, Tribute and B-Series truck.
The month was the best ever for Mazda in the U. S., breaking a 1994 sales record, the company said.
American Honda Motor Co. said it recorded its third-best month in history, selling 143,392 vehicles -- an 11.3 percent jump from 128,806 units last year.
Percentages are based on actual units sold; because there was one more selling day in March this year than in 2006, some auto makers also are reporting "adjusted" comparative numbers to smooth out the effect of the extra sales day.
Other car companies reporting U.S. sales today include:
Mitsubishi, which sold 12,536 units in March, up more than 22 percent from 10,250 in 2006.
Audi, which posted a 14.7 percent increase for March, selling 8,020 vehicles compared to 6,994 a year ago.
Volvo, down 4.4 percent with 10,666 units compared to 11,153 last year.
-- "I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please." John Wayne
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Perhaps the headline should have said "GM and Ford continue to outsell Toyota in the US"
Basically what that says is GM sold around 360 thousand vehicles, Ford 265 thousand and Toyota only 243 thousand even after their new Tundra hit the market. LOL
mike

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Mike Hunter wrote:

Do GM and Ford continue to make more profit than Toyota in the US?
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Or is GM and Ford's market share "still" declining as the Final Judge of Success, the American Consumer, decides who fails to meet the grade.
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That's true but apparently todays consumers are still choosing GM and Ford, over Toyota. ;)
mike

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You are confused, again. GM and Ford have separate companies that build cars in Europe. If they did send American vehicles to Europe they would effect the cars made there, would be one reason.
The prices of European cars ARE going up in the US, where domestic easy outsell any European cars. American and European manufacturers do not have the no US federal corporate income tax advantage in the US, that Japanese companies enjoy. .
mike

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You are free to believe whatever you chose. ;)
mike

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Actually Ford used to ship Explorers to Europe. They have stopped now since they also own Land Rover - no need to compete with yourself it a realtively limited market. Ford's original entry into Europe was shipping over US built cars. For the most part, Ford divisons in Eurpoe were originally set up to import Model Ts and eventually got into manufacturing vehicles more suitable for the changing European markets. Early on Europen countries imposed stiff gasoline taxes making high fuel efficieny a priority for Europe. They also imposed stiff tariffs on improted cars. It made sense for Ford to build European specific cars early on. Even today Europeans have different priorities for their cars. Cost competition is not nearly as intense in Europe as in the US. Gasoline is much more expensive in Europe than in the US. On the other hand diesel fuel is realtively cheap in Europe (comapred to their gasoline), so diesel cars are in high demand. European are also more chauvanistic than Americans. I am not saying some Brits won't buy US cars, but the average Brit or Geman is more likely to be predisposed towards a English or German car than a US buyer is towards a US car. European also don't drive as many miles per year as in the US. Europeans tend to have more and better mass transit options than we do in the US. Europeans, at least Western Europeans, don't keep cars for nearly as long as we do in the US. Europeans aren't obsessed wih changing oil like we are in the US. Since Ford (and GM) already have large manufacturing operations in Europe, why would they go to the expense of modifying US designs to sell in Europe? Why would they pay large transportation costs to haul cars to Europe, when they can manufacture them in Europe for close to the same cost and avoid the transportation costs?
On the otherhand Ford did have plans to try and introduce the Lincoln brand in Europe (with the Lincoln LS as the first significant entry). However after buying Volvo, Ford decided that this would be another case of Ford competing with Ford. Between Ford, Volvo, and Jaguar, they pretty much have the whole price range covered in Europe.
Interestingly, GM has been trying to establish Chevrolet as a global brand, although the Chevrolets they sell in the UK are not your Mother's Chevrolet (see http://www.chevrolet.co.uk/index.html ). GM also sells Corvettes and Cadillacs in Europe (US manufactured).
Other US cars sites in Europe:
http://www.dodge.co.uk/dodge/vehicle.aspx?IDv9,22 http://www.chrysler.co.uk/chrysler/index.aspx http://www.gm.com/automotive/vehicle_shopping/worldwide_sites / http://www.ford.com/en/company/about/countrySites/default.htm
Ed
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No, but then they do not have the advantages that Toyotas has of using mostly lower cost imported materials and parts. Plus Toyotas employees to not get the wages and benefits that GM and Ford gives to their employees. Toyota workers do not even have a pension plan. ;)
mike

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It may seem to be a fair wage to some but without the benefits and the pension plan offered by domestics, Toyota workers get screwed in comparison, when one compares prices.
You are free to believe whatever you chose, but the workers in the Honda plant in Ohio disagree with your personal opinion, they are attempting to join the UAW. ;)
mike

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