Ford may top General Motors this month image

According to Edmunds’ AutoObserver.com, Ford Motor Co. may outsell General Motors in March. The car-shopping website estimated Ford would sell 210,400 units in March, 2,000 more than GM.

If Ford does beat GM in sales, it would be the first time since February, 2010. Before that, Ford hadn’t surpassed GM since 1998, according to Edmunds.com’s records.

This would put Ford up 14.5 percent compared to March 2010 and up 34.4 percent from February 2011. GM would see an increase of 10.8 percent compared to March 2010 and an increase of 0.7 percent from February 2011.

Jessica Caldwell, a senior analyst, said that, “GM seems to have pulled back on incentives in March and could suffer a sales hangover through the next few months, given that the company’s earlier offers have been quite generous and may have pulled ahead future sales.”

March new-vehicle retail sales are showing stability through the first three weeks of the month, continuing a trend of monthly double-digit year-over-year increases, according to J.D. Power and Associates.
“Retail sales in March are exhibiting strength … despite increasing gas prices and falling inventory levels,” said Jeff Schuster, a J.D. Power analyst.

In February, North American production was 1.06 million units, 15 percent higher than in February 2010. However, near-term production is beginning to be impacted by parts shortages caused by the earthquake and tsunami crisis in Japan.