Merrill Lynch's annual "Car Wars" study points to Ford taking the lead from Chrysler and General Motors, which are expected to experience sharp declines in their market share in the US.
Ford's share could go up by 3% over the next four years to 18%. GM's share is expected to fall 4%, leveling off to a point between 15% and 16%. Currently, GM's four core brands (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC) account for 16.5%.
Chrysler's share is expected to drop 6%, meaning that it was able to sell only half the number of vehicles it was able to sell four years ago.
The study further painted a grimmer picture of Chrysler's future as it said that its product pipeline is "dubious" and is likely to lead to significant market share losses.
Chrysler will be introducing Fiat-designed small cars in the US in 18 months. Merrill Lynch's forecast fuels the perception that Ford will maintain its momentum after having avoided bankruptcy.
Ford has boosted its market share by about a third of a percentage point in the first half of 2009 compared to the same period last year.
This comes after Ford lost market share in the U.S. for 13 straight years and puts Ford in the number 2 spot ahead of Toyota and behind GM again. [via autonews]