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Could Ford’s Q1 US Sales Be Better than General Motors?

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Ford (F) is scheduled to release its first-quarter US sales on April 4. Following General Motors’ (GM) lead, Ford stopped providing monthly US sales data after December 2018. General Motors announced its decision to stop reporting US sales data every month in April 2018. Back then, General Motors’ US vice president of sales operations justified the move and said, “Thirty days is not enough time to separate real sales trends from short-term fluctuations in a very dynamic, highly competitive market.”

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General Motors’ Q1 2019 US sales

In the first quarter, General Motors, the largest US automaker (XLY), saw its sales fall 7.0% YoY (year-over-year) to 665,840 vehicle units. According to data compiled by MarkLines, the total US new vehicle sales fell 2.7% in the first quarter. General Motors’ US sales underperformed the industry in the last quarter. The company’s US sales fell 2.7% YoY in the fourth quarter of 2018—compared to a 1.5% rise in the total industry-wide new vehicle sales for the quarter.

Could Ford’s first-quarter sales be better than General Motors?

According to MarkLines’ estimates, Ford’s US sales fell 1.6% YoY in the first quarter to 586,956 vehicle units, which narrowed the gap between General Motors and Ford’s home market sales. Automotive News expects a slightly sharper decline of 2.2% YoY in Ford’s first-quarter US sales to 561,981 units.

While these estimates suggest that Ford’s US sales will likely be much lower than General Motors in the first quarter, Ford might report a lower percentage decline in its sales compared to General Motors.

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