Edmunds: Ford could retake No. 2 sales spot from Toyota this year

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Feb. 12, 2010 source: automotive news

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. could reclaim its place from Toyota Motor Corp. as the No. 2 automaker in the United States for the first time since 2007, according to Edmunds.com's revised sales forecast for this year.

Edmunds' new figures predicted that Ford would finish 2010 with a 16.57 percent U.S. market share. Toyota -- now battling the worst quality crisis in the company's history -- is expected to slip more than a full percentage point to 16.45 percent.
“I would equate Ford as the comeback kid. They're doing a lot of things right -- from a structure and lineup standpoint. I think that will continue,” said Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power and Associates.

Ford won't be the only car company to gain from Toyota's woes.

General Motors Co.'s initial projection by Edmunds of 17.87 percent now jumps to 18.12 percent, keeping the automaker at No. 1. Edmunds said Honda Motor Co. would be next with market share going from 11.14 to 11.32 percent.

“We anticipate that General Motors, Ford and Honda will pick up the majority of the sales Toyota loses,” Edmunds senior analyst Ray Zhou said in a statement.

Ford's January market share rose to 16.7 percent, 2.5 percentage points higher than the same time last year. On the flip side, Toyota's U.S. market share fell to 14.1 percent in January. It was the automaker's lowest share in at least four years, according to Edmunds.

So far, Ford's share in February is averaging 16 percent, an 11 percent increase from its usual average, according to Edmunds' analysis of transaction data. Ford finished 2009 with a U.S. market share of 16 percent, up a full percentage point. It was the company's first rise in share in its home market since 1995.

Edmunds also found that consideration for the Toyota Camry dropped to 12.3 percent in the first two weeks of January from 15.3 percent in the first two weeks of 2009. During the same period, the Ford Fusion rose to 7.8 percent of mid-sized-car shoppers from 5.1 percent. Consideration is defined as when a shopper takes time to configure a vehicle online.

But there may be a downside for consumers in this entire Toyota recall conundrum. Edmunds anticipates that buyers may see unprecedented price increases by car companies in the coming years.
“As a result of the public spotlight on the Toyota recall, automakers may have no choice but to devote more resources to safety in the future,” Edmunds CEO Jeremy Anwyl said in a statement. “Will consumers be willing to pay the price for their own safety?”