Ford and GM See Sales Increases in March

Despite what analysts are calling a “rough market” for cars, both GM and Ford showed significant improvements in U.S. sales last month, according to figures calculated by Automotive News. GM’s sales were up 21 percent over the previous month, while Ford saw sales climb by 40 percent.

However, the news wasn’t rosy for all domestic car makers. After posting its first monthly gain in four years in February, Chrysler saw sales dip eight percent last month. Some foreign car makers also saw disappointing numbers despite sales growth. For example, sales of new Hyundais were up 15 percent from the previous month, a number that was far below analysts’ previous estimates of 30 percent growth.

Many of the sales increases were attributed to car dealers being forced to match incentive offers introduced by Toyota in March as a counter measure to the wave of negative press about the company’s global vehicle recalls.

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Ford Releases Pricing for New Mustang

Automotive News reports that Ford has set the sticker price for its 2011 Ford Mustang, and the new V-6 powered car will be priced below its main rival the Chevrolet Camaro. According to Ford, its 3.7-liter V-6 version will start at $22,995, including shipping. The 3.6-liter V-6 2009 Camaro starts at $23,530. In addition, Ford’s 5.0-liter V-8 starts at $30,495 and the V-8 premium starts at $33,695.

Ford’s pricing for the new Mustangs has barely increased over the previous year despite new innovations that have meant an increase of more than 100 horsepower.

Chevrolet has not released pricing for the 2010 Camaro; embargoes for reviews of both cars end this week.

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Auto leasing programs on the comeback

Bloomberg reports that auto leasing programs are starting over again as consumers are beginning to look for cheap ways to drive expensive cars. The story reports that both General Motors and Chrysler have restarted their previously-discontinued GMAC Financial Services leasing program, which had been stopped after demand for leasing fell in 2008. In addition, Ford and Toyota are both planning extended marketing pushes and promotions for their existing marketing programs.

“Leasing is really a critical piece of the business because people who lease have much higher loyalty to your brand,” Jim Farley, Ford’s group vice president of marketing, said in an interview. “This is something the dealers have been asking for for a long time.”

“Leasing is coming back,” Jeremy Anwyl, chief executive officer of researcher of Santa Monica, California, said in an interview yesterday. He predicts the practice will soon account for 20 percent of U.S. auto sales, more than doubling from the first half of 2009. Increased used-car values are “making leasing more attractive,” he said.

Ford Reports Near $1 Billion Net Income Last Quarter

Price reductions on models such as the Ford Taurus helped Ford to major Q3 sales.

Price reductions on models such as the Ford Taurus helped Ford to major Q3 sales.

Bloomberg reports today that Ford has posted a surprising third quarter 2009 net income of $997 million – the company’s first operating profit since early 2008 – on the back of higher sales spurred by competitive pricing. The move bolsters confidence in Ford, which was the only of the “Big Three” automakers not to receive government protection in 2009. In fact, Ford CEO Alan Mulally said that he anticipates Ford will be “solidly profitable” in 2011.

“Ford is a company that’s well into a turnaround,” said Bernie McGinn, president of McGinn Investment Management of Alexandria, Virginia, which owns about 320,000 Ford shares. “They did it by themselves and didn’t take government money. That gives people a good gut feeling and they’re being rewarded for that.”

With price cuts on models such as the Ford Taurus and Ford F-150, the company’s U.S. market share increased to 15.8 percent for the first nine months, compared with 14.8 percent from a year earlier, according to researcher Autodata Corp. of Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Ford, UAW reach tentative agreement

According to Reuters, Ford and the UAW have reached a tentative agreement that would include a “no-strike” clause and a wage freeze for new hires. Ford official say that the deal was necessary to make the contract similar to other U.S. automakers.

In exchange for the major concessions from union officials, the pact also includes some additional benefits, including a one-time bonus and some production commitments. The changes – which still need to be ratified later this week by National Ford Council delegates – will impact about 41,000 UAW workers employed by Ford and replace a four-year contract agreed upon in 2007.

Ford was looking for help from the union to remain competitive with rival car makers such as GM and Chrysler. Ford was the only of the “Big Three” U.S. auto companies not to file for government-supported bankruptcy protection, and did not benefit from the renegotiations the other two companies engaged in with the UAW in order to remain alive.

New Ford Ikon Diesel – Facelift

Yes, another facelift from Ford. Old news, but its still a news. The Ikon started off like the Fiesta did, got great response, made it a “drivers” car and became a common sight in the road, being the luxury car at that time. The Ford Ikon will be getting a facelift and will be entering the market soon. This facelift is similar to the Fiesta’s, where only the frontal part is worked out and the rear is left the same.

The interior style is being changed a little, like new seat fabrics, revamped instrument clusters and new dials. The front part of the car gets new European styled headlights and a Fiesta-like nose and an all new bumper with fog lights. The rear gets clear tail lamps.
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2009 Ford Fiesta – Made in Cologne!

Ford has started making the all new Ford Fiesta, which is the 2009 version in Cologne, Germany. The Cologne factory, in which ford had invested $674 million to modernize it. In this plant, Ford will be able to make up 1,48,000 Fiesta by the end of the year.

Ford has plans for a small car in India, which most propably would be the Ford Ka or a car based on the Ka’s platform. But what a great idea would be introducing the Fiesta hatch at 5-6 Lakh range and add up a diesel engine that will compete with the Fabia and the upcoming Honda Jazz.

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All New Facelifted Ford Fiesta

A few days ago, Ford launched the face-lifted Fiesta to encounter some serious sales as the figures were lowering day to day. Why was that? the most possible answer is that the Fiesta was told to be a drivers car, while the Aveo got away with the looks and interiors, the City stole the brand image and the refined engine and the SX4 got away with almost everything. That is why minor changes were made to make the car look modern and updated.
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Ford Ka Unveiled – Fords small car

Well, here it is. Ford has officially revealed its all new Ka. Ford will debut the small car in the Paris Motor Show in October. This car is like a mini version of the Fiesta hatch. Is this the car that is told to be Fords small car for India? Lets find out!
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