The Ford brand is closing in on Toyota as the favorite of retail auto buyers, a sign of rising popularity of the Fusion mid-size car and Escape sport-utility vehicle, and of growing dismay with the Japanese manufacturer.
General Motors Co. joined Chrysler Group LLC and Nissan Motor Co. in beating analysts’ estimates for February U.S. sales while Ford Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. did worse than projected.
The 17 percent surge in U.S. auto sales last month pushed the annual rate to a pre-recession, boom-time level. Even more significant, Detroit automakers are reaping profits not seen since the turn of the century.
Chuck Eddy, who has been a Chrysler dealer for 45 years, has to go back to the time of Jimmy Carter’s White House to recall when he last had a strong mid- size car to sell. That will change, he says, after this morning’s Chrysler sedan unveiling at the Detroit auto show.
Sales soared by as much as 25 percent at Gordon Stewart’s four Chevrolet stores in 2013, the fourth straight year of rising U.S. auto sales, and he said he’s never had a better lineup from General Motors Co. His best market will come when he no longer has to persuade car buyers to pay up for models such as the shark-nosed Chevy Impala.
Ford Motor Co. , returning to the U.S. minivan market after at least a four-year absence, will count on a compact people mover it developed in Europe to drive sales to the children of the American Baby Boom generation.