Fusion, hybrid models helped Ford widen US sales lead over Toyota

Article by Anita Panait, on January 2, 2014

The Ford brand will sell over 2.4 million vehicles in the United States in 2013, making it the top -selling marque in the country for four straight years. The brand’s Fusion sedan and hybrid models helped it extends its lead over the Toyota brand. The Ford brand went into December leading against the Toyota marque by 388,825 cars and light trucks, already ahead of the full-year 2012 count pegged at 322,521.

Ford’s dominance in the US reflects the strategy formulated by Ford Motor Co. chief executive Alan Mulally that sees American carmaker flourishing by narrowing its focus. Mulally sold off the Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin and Volvo luxury lines and terminated Mercury while pushing the Ford brand to complement its strengths in pickups and SUVs with more competitive cars.

“We are not overly reliant on any one segment,” John Felice, Ford's vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, remarked in a statement, noting that 16 launches lined up this year, the carmaker is seeking to keep its sales momentum going. Ford said that the demand for Fusions and hybrids like the C-Max will help increase Ford-brand sales to retail buyers to the highest levels since 2000.

In early December 2013, Bill Fay, group vice president for US Toyota sales, told Bloomberg that the Toyota division is on track to beat the Ford brand last year in light-vehicle retail sales, which exclude fleet customers like rental companies. Toyota-brand sales include Scion vehicles.

“That’s been a result of the recovery of the brand and the division the last couple years,” Fay remarked, noting that Toyota is more focused on trying to sell its plan, satisfy its customers and support the dealers’ business model.” Ford said that sales of the Fusion will top 290,000 units in 2013. It was able to surpass its 2011 sales records in November, after posting a 22-percent surge in deliveries in the first 11 months of 2013.

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