May: Ford F series loses top-selling vehicle title, Civic sets new
UPDATED: 6/3/08 2:47 p.m. EDT
The Ford F-150 pickup truck has been dethroned as America's favorite
vehicle for the first time since 1991 -- by four sedans.
According to preliminary sales figures released by automakers, Ford
Motor Co. sold 42,973 F-series trucks in May, while Toyota Motor
Corp. sold 52,826 Corollas and 51,291 Camrys.
The Honda Civic beat all vehicles with sales of 53,299 vehicles --
an all-time record for any month -- while the Honda Accord raked in
another 43,728 in sales, according to American Honda Motor Co.
The last time a car outsold the F series was October 1991.
Ford responded today by putting an employee pricing incentive on all
2008 F series trucks, effective immediately through June 30.
Jim Farley, Ford group vice president for marketing and
communications, said the loss of the F series' title for the month
was a "significant development."
"But it's not surprising, given the fuel price," Farley
said. "That's just a sign of the times. I think May has been a
Toyota said Corolla sales rose 12.4 percent in May, but were down
9.5 percent for the first five months compared with the same period
a year ago. Camry sales have been flat.
A structural shift
"The all-new Corolla really found its stride this month," Toyota
Motor Sales President Jim Lentz said in a statement. "Launched amid
soaring fuel prices and economic uncertainty, Corolla strikes a
sweet spot for buyers seeking refinement in addition to fuel
efficiency and affordability."
Ford CEO Alan Mulally said the fact that cars are outselling trucks
is further evidence that the industry is undergoing a change in
"We really believe we are seeing a structural shift with the fuel
prices going through the $3.40-to-$3.60" range. It's interesting
that a lot of others are saying the same thing now," Mulally told
reporters Monday, June 2, at a dinner in Washington.
"So I think we're seeing a structural shift where, with the prices
being high in the United States, we're seeing exactly what happened
in Europe a number of years ago, where the customers are going to
make economic decisions, and they're going to move toward smaller
and medium-sized vehicles."
Honda said Civic sales rose 28.3 percent in May and 18.3 percent for
the year to date. Accord sales increased 31.9 percent in May and 6.6
percent for the year to date, according to Honda's preliminary
"The dramatic increase in car sales appears to be one of the most
profound shifts in automotive buying patterns in more than a
decade," Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda,
said in a statement.
"Record sales of the Honda Civic clearly demonstrate an accelerated
trend toward fuel efficiency."