Ford: We're Number Three! We're Number Three!

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
ford we re number three we re number three

As has been pointed out here many times, there are lies, damn lies and statistics. And depending on which statistics you're looking at, they can be used to support whatever you want to say. For example, Ford is number three in sales. Or Honda, depending on which statistic you're looking at. As far as total sales year to date are concerned, FoMoCo (781,791) is still solidly in third place, after GM (1,058,014) and Toyota (789,447) while Chrysler's staked out forth place (601,622) and Honda's trailing in fifth (487,642). However, Automotive News reports that if you factor out low-profit fleet sales, Honda moves to third and Ford drops to fourth. That's because retail sales make up only 65 percent of Ford's total sales and Honda's fleet sales are negligible. So Honda's retail number remains unchanged while Ford's drops to approximately 421k. So who's really number three? We report, you decide.

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4 of 25 comments
  • EJ_San_Fran EJ_San_Fran on May 28, 2008

    Anybody can buy market share if they are willing to take enough loss. Dumping excess production into fleets is Detroit's tried and true way of doing that. So, to count fairly you need to count the number of vehicles each manufacturer sells with a profit. That's difficult to know. For instance, is selling pickup trucks still a profitable activity? From this point of view, I'm guessing the ranking might be: 1. Toyota 2. Honda 3. Nissan 4. GM 5. Ford 6. Chrysler And thus, Ford is in 5th place!

  • Bunter1 Bunter1 on May 28, 2008

    EJ_SAN_FRAN- Interesting twist. Bunter

  • Skooter Skooter on May 28, 2008

    If Ford doesn't sell to rental fleets, won't somebody else? Why not grab the sale?

  • Jschaef481 Jschaef481 on May 28, 2008

    Small fleet sales (small fleet = less than 15 units/year) have always been mingled with retail, and this business has almost always been sold at the dealer level. When retail incentives have been greater than the fleet incentive for a given model, the sale is reported retail and incentives are claimed appropriately. Nothing new here. Also, as long as volumes are at a level of critical mass (they still are at the moment), light and medium truck sales are still quite profitable for the OEM's by the unit. Unfortunately, the volumes are down significantly and that has impacted overall profit. Just to clarify, not all fleet business is unprofitable nor is it by definition less profitable than retail. That circumstance is really only typical of government, rental and 200+/year corporate fleets.