Ford car production ain't what it used to be
December 3, 2007 - 12:01 am ET
Fifty-seven years ago, Ford Motor Co. passed Chrysler Corp. to become the
No. 2 producer of cars in North America behind General Motors. Ford held
that position from 1950 through 2006, but this year things have changed.
Ford has slipped from second place in car output to fourth place.
From January through October of this year, Ford built 711,889 cars at six
plants in North America. That's down from 998,989 cars in seven plants
through the first 10 months of 2006.
It's been a tough decade for Ford cars. Consider the first 10 months of
2000. During that stretch, Ford produced about 1.5 million cars in North
Ford loses its place
North American car production, excluding light trucks. Ford has slipped two
places since last year.
Jan.-Oct. 07 Jan.-Oct. 06 % change
1. General Motors 1,403,701 1,657,582 -15.3%
2. Toyota Motor Corp. 835,332 799,996 4.40%
3. Honda Motor Co. 722,918 705,168 2.50%
4. Ford Motor Co. 711,889 998,989 -28.7%
5. Nissan Motor Co. 697,748 578,853 20.50%
6. Chrysler LLC 659,316 678,582 -2.8%
The dropoff this year was mainly caused by the demise of the old Taurus -
representing a decline of 174,124 units in 2007 from 2006. But other Ford
cars are down, too. Focus production is off 34,697 units; Mustang, 28,947;
Fusion, 15,923; and the new Taurus/Five Hundred, 11,104.
Toyota Motor Corp. is the new No. 2 in 2007, and Honda Motor Co. also passed
Ford. Nissan Motor Co. is close on Ford's heels.
Nissan has had the biggest gain this year in North American car output,
rising from 578,853 through October 2006 to 697,748 in the first 10 months
of this year - and passing Chrysler LLC in the process. Ramping up Versa
production in Aguascalientes, Mexico, is the main reason.
Where does Ford rank in total light-vehicle production - if you include all
those F-150s it builds, as well as other Ford and Lincoln trucks and SUVs?
Still a solid No. 2 behind GM.