Ford New-Vehicle Sales Reach a 2009 High

Rick Bunkley
New York Times

New-vehicle sales in the United States climbed to their highest levels of the year in May.

The Ford Motor Company, said its market share rose to the highest level in three years. Ford said it would increase production by 6 percent, or 52,000 vehicles, through September.

The seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate for the industry was 9.91 million, the highest so far this year. Until 2008, automakers had been selling about 17 million vehicles a year for much of the last decade. G.M., once it restructures and emerges from bankruptcy, has predicted it can break even if industry sales are at least 10 million a year.

May was the best sales month of 2009 for General Motors.

“Does it mean we’ll continue to improve and we’re out of the woods? No, but it was a good month,” Ron Pinelli, the president of, said. “It’s certainly positive in that it’s not getting worse. All things considered you can’t expect some crazy miracle overnight.”

For the second consecutive month, Ford outsold Toyota.

“It’s become clear to the consumer that we’re going to emerge from this, that we’re going to be around to keep providing products to the marketplace and take care of their service needs and that G.M.’s going to be a viable enterprise,” Mark LaNeve, G.M.’s vice president for sales, service and marketing, said in a conference call Tuesday.

“I think we see from the May results that we’re going to be O.K.,” he added.


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