Steane Klose | Jul 31, 2008

Ford is set to lose its number 3 ranking on the annual global sales leader board to Volkswagen if recently released mid year figures are any indication. Statements released by both companies last week show Ford sales fell 11% globally to 3.09 million units while Volkswagen posted an increase of 7.2% for a total of 3.31 million cars and trucks.

The blue oval's heavy reliance on U.S. sales is partly to blame for the poor results. Rising fuel costs, a ravaged banking sector and collapsing consumer confidence have seen sales drop 14% this year (and down 28% in June alone). Large pick-ups and SUV's have been hit hardest adding injury to insult as these vehicles have traditionally provided the healthiest profit margins. Ford US recently announced a record USD$9billion loss (although write-downs accounted for USD$8billion of that total.)

In the meantime, Volkswagen can do no wrong as the German manufacturer works steadily to improve sales and market share in all of its global markets. By offering a dynamic range of small and mid-sized vehicles, with a raft of fuel-friendly engine options, Volkswagen is succeeding in capturing the attention of an ever-more fuel-sensitive public.

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