Ford Motor Company (F), Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) (TM): Numbers Changing?

Challenging the leader

Toyota’s market share may have fallen to 58%, but it is still way ahead of Ford’s. The lead automaker is expected to sell about 250,000 hybrids this year, which is a massive target for Ford. In fact, the US automaker does not even have the facilities to reach such a huge figure.

Challenging Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:TM) would be tough for Ford considering that the hybrid market grows at a much slower pace compared to the rest of the automobile industry. Per Erich Merkle, the hybrid segment is growing at a feeble rate of 2.5% against a 7% gain for the auto industry. However, the coming year could be a different story, particularly after the unbelievable surge in demand for the C-Max and Fusion hybrids.

The road ahead

Toyota Motor Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:TM) blames falling gas prices as the primary culprit behind declining hybrid sales. The car maker had forecast sales of 250,000 hybrids this year, but chances are high that it will revise its estimate downward. Sensing the increased competition, Chief Executive of Toyota’s North America operations Jim Lentz said that an adjustment in goals might be needed in case demand falls below the sales forecast.

However, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has not yet reported any problem with declining gas prices. What needs to be seen is how Ford’s hybrid vehicles sales are affected if gas prices continue to fall. Will the automaker grumble about the fluctuating gas price? Or will healthy demand for its Fusion and C-Max make it inch closer to Toyota in an effort to win the title of the lead hybrid seller?

The article Will Ford Overtake Toyota in the Hybrid Segment? originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Rajesh M..

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