Halfway through the year, it's becoming clear American auto buyers have re-discovered the two biggest American auto brands.
Chevy and Ford are both enjoying a resurgence in 2010, picking up market share, and setting the stage for a race to see which one ends up as the most popular brand in the U.S.
How strong are sales at Chevy and Ford?
Through the first half of the year, each brand has picked up 1.6% market share, according to the research firm Autodata.
The Ford increase in sales is really a continuation of the success the brand has enjoyed over the last year and half. In 2009, when Ford sales were picking up, it caused many people outside the auto industry to wonder is this comeback was for real. It's not only for real; it's far from running out of steam. With the all-new Fiesta about to hit showrooms there is another fresh model ready to draw in prospective buyers. This fall we’ll see the re-designed Explorer and then late this year the new Focus. It's the steady cadence of new models that has been the key to Ford winning over buyers and picking up market share.
With Chevy, it's a slightly different story. Yes, its models are in demand, especially the Equinox, which is red-hot. But the Chevy rebound is also a testament to buyers coming back to the brand after last year, when GM was slowly sliding into bankruptcy and people were genuinely wondering if they should buy a car or truck from a company that may or may not be around. Once it became clear Chevy wasn't going away, the dealers found it much easier to close sales.
With both brands, they benefited from the problems at Toyota. In fact, halfway through the year, the Toyota brand has fallen to a distant third in terms of total sales:
- Ford: 858,454
- Chevy: 791,006
- Toyota: 739,112
With Ford outselling Chevy by almost 70,000 vehicles, it's in great shape to finish the year as the top selling brand here in the U.S. Last year, Toyota took the title as the top brand followed by Ford, then Chevy.
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