With half of 2013 in the record books the automotive industry has just put away its best month of the year and sales look to continue upward. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), and Chrysler have rebounded from their darkest chapter in history, and for the first time in two decades all three gained market share for the first half of 2013.
Although people may disagree about the route GM and Chrysler took by wiping out billions of dollars in debt through a government bailout – and I certainly have my issues with it – it is hard to disagree that all three are producing competitive vehicles in segments they were once left for dead in. Ford is doing especially well; it’s narrowing the sales lead GM has held for years, and here’s how the numbers look.
By the numbers
General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)’s sales through June came in at 1,420,346 units, which is good for an 8% increase over the same time period last year. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) recorded the best increase of the five top automakers with a 13.1% jump to 1,289,736 units sold. Chrysler’s sales increased by 8.9% to just top 900,000 units sold. Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:TM) and Honda Motor Co Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:HMC) were up 6% and 6.4% for total sales of 1,108,791 and 745,578, respectively.
With Ford’s increase being much higher than its largest competitors, we can expect its market share to take the biggest jump as well:
The change may not seem like a big jump, but it is. Each fraction of a percentage point is a big deal, and Ford’s gain in U.S. market share was the best of any automaker. The question is: Will Ford gain enough market share to replace General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) as the best-selling automaker in the U.S.?
I believe that Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) will, and it will largely be decided over the next two years. June’s seasonally adjusted annual rate, or SAAR, came in just under 16 million – the highest rate in over five years. The rising tide will raise all boats, but Ford will capitalize more than its rival because GM still owns the oldest vehicle portfolio in the industry.
While Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) was designing and launching hugely popular vehicles, such as the Fusion and the Escape, GM was still wrangling with its financial fallout and government bailout. While GM’s best-selling Silverado aged far beyond its expected lifespan, Ford’s F-150 continues to increase its sales lead and the company is anticipating its 2015 redesigned F-150 to be a big hit.