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Ford Brand Number One for 2011, but Another Company Wins Overall

With just a couple sales days left, Ford is saying it has broken the 2 million vehicles sold barrier for the first time in four years, making it the top brand for 2011, but not the top manufacturer. Another company should end the year with that designation.

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Chevrolet is going to finish the sales race a full 12 percent behind Ford with projected sales of 1.78 million units based on figures supplied by GM through November 2011 and projected sales figures announced by

Ford, as a company, has Lincoln in its portfolio and that under-performing near-luxury line, doesn't boost Ford sales enough to topple GM. With projected sales of 12.8 million vehicles in 2011 across the entire industry, GM is expected to be the sales leader with just north of 2.5 million in vehicle sales. That puts it at a market share of 19.5 percent or practically one in every 5 vehicles sold in the United States.

Those strong sales numbers compare to Ford's 2.14 million, which is about a market share of 16.7 percent. Toyota finishes the year at 1.46 million for a market share of 11.4 percent. It managed to at least beat Chrysler, which is coming on strong, but will end the year with 1.365 million in vehicle sales, for a market share of 10.6 percent.

It's not hard to envision Ford having a strong sales year because Patrick Rall, TorqueNews managing editor, reported earlier this week that the Ford Fusion had its best sales year since its introduction in 2006. The midsize sedan is expected to see 240,000 units moved in 2011, in spite of a completely new Fusion coming at the Detroit Auto Show.

Ford is explaining its sales dominance on its focus on fuel efficiency. "Ford's lineup of high-quality, fuel-efficient cars, utilities and trucks continues to attract more and more new customers," said Erich Merkle, Ford's sales analysis manager, in a statement. "With gasoline prices tracking higher than last year, customers continue to move toward smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, whether they are passenger cars or utilities."

Ford is saying its new electrified vehicle introductions, nearly one-third of Ford's vehicle lines in the U.S. will feature a model with 40 mpg or more in 2012 – a claim no other full-line automaker can match. The key words there are "full-line" because that excludes Hyundai, which has no pickup trucks in the game.

Overall, Ford brand small cars are on pace to post an increase of more than 20 percent this year. Ford brand utilities are tracking to post more than a 30 percent gain.

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