Based on the sales for January and February, 2015 is not looking like a good year for GM and Ford. Nick Bunkley of Automotive News reported that Ford was one of the only car manufacturers to report a “year-over-year decline,” even after it has been tirelessly working to revamp and renew its car lineup over the recent decade. GM has also been in a state of renewal, establishing new designs for some of its best-sellers: the Cruze and the Malibu (both Chevrolet models). While these new designs have proven to be more attractive to consumers, overall sales for the company are still down.
Despite the nasty weather of January and late February, Ford executive Mark LeNeve (chief of marketing and sales in the US) envisions: “‘big opportunity’ for cars such as the Ford Focus, which posted a 12 percent drop in February, and the Fiesta, which was down 24 percent” (automotive news.com). He has higher hopes for car traffic in March and April, despite the apparent drought of January and February. GM also has reason to keep its hopes up for the year of 2015: truck sales, especially those in the light-duty category, were apparently up a whopping 21% in the month of February; however, their overall car volume numbers are down 21% (LeNeve).
These numbers do not seem encouraging for Ford and GM, but their executives remain confident that the business will take a turn for the better as Spring nears. As gas prices stay relatively low, the economy improves, and more people find work, the aforementioned automakers believe that people will choose to buy what they really want. What do they really want? SUV’s and crossovers. What do these manufacturers specialize in? SUV’s and crossovers.
As of today, Ford and GM should not necessarily be fretting over the current downturn; LeNeve states: “automakers and analysts expressed confidence that the industry remains on track toward a potential 17 million unit year” (automotive news.com). Who knows, maybe Ford (and GM) will see an increase in profit and not need to report yet another year-over-year decline; then again, maybe they will…only time (and the weather?) will tell.