Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Ford Passes Toyota For #2 In The U.S.


It's been a long time coming. Roughly two years if you're keeping score.

That's the last time Ford was locked in as the #2 automaker in the U.S. Well, after the first six months of 2009 Ford as once again pulled ahead of Toyota in U.S. sales year-to-date.

Oh sure, Ford has outsold Toyota on a monthly basis the last couple of months. But month to month sales can be volatile and not always an accurate reflection of where an automaker is in comparison to its competition. In Ford's case, it is now back in front of Toyota. Selling roughly 10,000 more vehicles this year.

This is a significant comeback after Toyota passed Ford in 2007 and 2008. Even more impressive is the fact Ford outsold Toyota without Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin, three brands it sold since early 2007. It's proof less can be more while also showing the latest Ford models are connecting with buyers. Ford set a monthly sales record for the Flex while the company's hybrid sales jumped 91% for the month.

Here's how the major auto makers did in June:

  • GM: (down) 36.3%
  • Ford: (down) 14.4%
  • Chrysler: (down) 44.2%
  • Toyota: (down) 34.6%
  • Nissan: (down) 23.1%
  • Honda: (down) 32.4%

Overall, the sales rate for June will be up compared to May. But will the industry hit an annualized sales pace of 10 million vehicles? That's an important benchmark because it's the level to which the big 3 have all adjusted their profit projections. In other words, if annual sales eclipse 10 million, GM, Ford and Chrysler all say they can and will make money.

We'll get the official sales rate later this afternoon from the research firm AutoData.

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- Ford Motor

- General Motors

- Toyota Motor

- Nissan

- Honda Motor


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