Ford, GM Plan to Trim 2008 Output

Struggling to keep turnaround plans on track, General Motors and Ford Motor Company both recently said that they would cut production in the first quarter of 2008 because of slowing sales, according to the NY Times.

GM said it expected to produce 950,000 vehicles from January through March, down 11 percent from the same period in 2007. Ford said it planned to build 685,000 vehicles in the first quarter, a 7 percent decline.

At GM, sales dropped 10.9 percent in November. Sales had increased in the three previous months, but the company attributed November’s drop to a cutback of sales to rental car companies, as well as low inventories of full-size trucks and sport utility vehicles.

Ford eked out a 1.3 percent gain, after 12 consecutive monthly sales declines. The gain was largely because of more lower-profit bulk sales to commercial and government fleet operators. Dealership sales were down 3 percent in November.

The NY Times reports that Toyota pulled ahead of Ford this year to become the second largest seller of vehicles in the U.S. market. Toyota is on pace to finish the year at least 200,000 vehicles and nearly 1.5 percentage points of market share ahead of Ford’s three domestic brands.

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