For the fourth quarter of this year, Ford Motor Co.’s production in North America will remain at the same level as the third-quarter of this year and slightly below the last quarter of 2009 as the economy’s recovery has been modest and consumer spending has been uninspiring.
Emily Kolinksi Morris, Ford's senior US economist, said that “elevated savings rates are dampening spending.” She also noted that buyers are replacing cars on an as-needed basis.
She described the rate of recovery to be moderate but “not a collapse.” For the third and fourth quarters of 2010, Ford intends to build 570,000 vehicles.
In comparison, Ford made 574,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2009. George Pipas, Ford's US sales analyst, said that production is being kept steady – something that’s consistent with the industry’s sales pattern during the last six months.
For the month of August, sales dropped by 11% to 157,327 vehicles compared to the previous year, when sales were boosted by the government's cash-for-clunkers program. It should be noted that the latest sales figures do not include Volvo, which was acquired by Geely.
US sales rose by 18% this year to 1.28 million units, indicating the strong demand for newer models such as the Ford Taurus and Fiesta as well as trucks, which have risen by 27% year-to-date.
Pipas also commented that when compared to other brands that benefited from the clunker program, Ford was the only brand last month that recorded a “retail market share gain on top of last year's performance.”