In December, sales were down nearly 13% versus a year ago, putting it in danger of being beaten by Toyota for the third month.
DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co.’s U.S. sales dropped nearly 13 percent in December versus a year ago, putting it in danger of being beaten by Toyota Motor Corp. for the third month in 2006.
For the year, Ford’s sales were down about 8 percent, due largely to a decline in truck and sport utility vehicle sales and the end of production for the Taurus sedan.
Toyota beat Ford in July and November, and some analysts have predicted that it will overtake Ford as the No. 2 seller of automobiles in the U.S. in 2007.
DaimlerChrysler AG, meanwhile, said its U.S. sales slipped 1 percent last month as a 10 percent decline in Mercedes sales offset a 1 percent rise at its Chrysler Group.
For the full year, DaimlerChrysler’s sales were down 5 percent compared to 2005, with Chrysler off 7 percent while Mercedes was up 11 percent, the company reported.
Ford’s decline for the month was led by the F-Series pickup, the top-selling vehicle in the U.S., which was down 21 percent from a strong December 2005, the company said. Ford sold 70,580 of the F-Series trucks last month compared with 89,491 a year earlier.
For the year, the F-Series fell nearly 12 percent, ending December with sales of 796,039 compared with 901,463 in 2005.
The company has said that softness in housing construction and higher fuel prices were responsible for the sales decline.
Ford shares rose 9 cents to $7.60 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, while DaimlerChrysler’s U.S. shares gained $1 to $62.41.