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Ford Motor Co. said its U.S. sales of cars and trucks fell 12% in August, while rivals Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Corp. gained, according to Bloomberg.com.
Ford sold 255,112 vehicles, the company said today (Sept. 1). Toyota, after outselling Ford for the first month ever in July, had a 17% increase while falling back to No. 3 in August with 240,178 sales. GM, the world’s largest automaker ahead of Toyota, was up 3.8%, its first monthly increase since January. But GM also announced a 12% cut in fourth-quarter production.
“These results are product driven,” said Tom Libby, an analyst with J.D. Power & Associates’ Power Information Network. “The manufacturers with the entries in the more fuel- efficient segments like Toyota are benefiting. No question, the segments with the larger vehicles are under pressure.”
A drop in consumer confidence last month to the lowest level since November may have hurt U.S. automakers, whose top-selling models are pickups: Ford’s F-Series, GM’s Silverado and DaimlerChrysler AG’s Dodge Ram. Pickup buyers include construction companies and workers.
“Our economy is starting to slow down,” said IRN Inc. auto analyst Erich Merkle in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “As that happens, those pickup sales are going to falter.”
Sales of Ford’s F-Series, the nation’s best-selling vehicle, fell 15% to 76,804. Ford recorded an overall 21% decline in truck sales in August, including a 6.3% drop for the Explorer sport-utility vehicle and a 31% fall for the larger Expedition SUV. Ford’s results include sales of imports and heavy-duty trucks.
The company’s car sales rose 8.5% overall, helped by the Fusion, Milan and Zephyr mid-size sedans introduced last year. Those models sold a combined 28,863, their best sales month, up from the previous high of 20,267 in July.