Big Three June Sales Slide As Toyota Shines

Domestic automakers were helped by crossover sales, but still posted declines as Toyota continues to gain ground on GM.

DEARBORN, Mich. – In June, Ford Motor Co.’s sales continued to slide.

Morgan Stanley analysts expected Ford to see a 7 to 9 percent drop, inline with the automaker’s 8.1 percent decrease this month to 247,599 units.

The bright spot in Ford’s sales continues to be its crossover sales, with the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury crossovers up 83 percent over last year.

“The Edge and Lincoln MKX and other new and redesigned products are helping us to stabilize our retail market share, a key goal in our plan to return to profitability in North America,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s President of the Americas.

Chrysler, which analysts predicted would slide 6 to 8 percent, dropped 1 percent to 183,347 units. DaimlerChrysler AG was down 2 percent to 202,936 units.

At 326,300 units, GM fell the furthest of the Big Three, dropping 24 percent from June 2006 levels, due to the planned reduction in daily rental sales vehicles. To date, GM has take over 92,000 daily rental vehicles out of the 2007 sales totals.

“Given the planned reduction in daily rental sales, we expected June would be a tough comparison to a year ago. Our retail performance for the month was also below the solid running rate we’ve experienced for the first half of the year which we attribute to a soft industry and lower incentive spending than our competitors,” said Mark LaNeve, vice president, GM North American Sales, Service and Marketing. “However, we continue to believe that maintaining a disciplined approach to both incentives and daily rental car sales is key to making our marketing strategy work in the long run.”

The Big Three’s main Asian rival, Toyota, posted a 6.1 percent increase to 245,739 for June, and a record-setting second quarter sales of 725,219 units.

The Toyota Division had best-ever June sales of 216,870, a 6.9 percent increase over last year. The Lexus Division also had best-ever June sales, with a 0.4 percent increase to 28,869 units.

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