Ford Gains On GM, Chrysler Pain

Ken Czubay, head of Ford's U.S. sales and marketing, today noted along with ambitious product strategy they're "going to aggressively market new products," because "we still have some very competitive Asian and European competitors." He's right, Ford's posted big conquest sales on the backs of their American rivals.

In a report in today's Detroit News (we actually picked up and read a paper copy this morning while having breakfast at Bob Evans, because apparently we're 67 now), recent figures indicate Asian competitors and Ford have seen an uptick in conquest sales since GM and Chrysler have gone into hock with Uncle Sam. Despite President Obama's Warranty Assurance Program, consumers are leery of buying a new car from companies in, or teetering on the edge of, bankruptcy. As a result, Ford has been picking up 5-10% more conquest buyers than normal as consumers who'd prefer to stick with an American brand probably would rather buy from a more solvent company.

Ford's planning to go one step further. Many Chrysler owners are upside down on their loans, with residual values around 40-50% of where they should be on the used market, as such Ford is planning an incentive program of up to $1,000 for Chrysler owners in order to get them out of their money pit and into a Ford product. Considering Ford has improved their market share in six of the last seven months, and they've got a lot of nice cars replacing ugly ducklings (we're looking at you Focus, 500/Taurus), analysts are slowly acknowledging Ford has the possibility of coming out of this industry crisis smelling like roses. [DetNews]

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