After posting an excellent first quarter sale performance in the United States, Ford Motor Co. has revised its 2012 forecast for industry-wide volume. According to Mark Fields, Ford President for the Americas, the company now forecast the US auto industry sales for 2012 to be between 14.5 million and 15 million units, including heavy and medium trucks.
The forecast is a significance improvement from the previous figures of between 13.5 million and 14.5 million vehicles. The company now forecasts the sales of light vehicles for 2012 to be between 14.2 million and 14.7 million units, excluding medium and heavy trucks. According to the company, US light vehicles were sold at an annualized rate of 14.5 million to 14.6 million vehicles during the first quarter of 2012, making it the best quarterly sales rate in four years.
As for actual figures, Ford improved its light vehicle sales by nine percent for the first three months of 2012, while the industry volume soared 13 percent in the same period to 3.5 million units. These figures alone support Ford’s new forecast, and provides stark evidence that the auto industry is recovering well despite mixed economic signals. The auto industry in 2011 sold around 12.8 million light vehicles.
Meanwhile, Ford joins a number of auto manufacturers that lost market share in the first quarter of 2012. Ford joins General Motors, Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. in the losers’ circle. The gainers' circle, meanwhile, includes Chrysler Group, Hyundai-Kia, Volkswagen Group and BMW Group. Daimler AG and Nissan Motor Co. more or less retained their market shares.