Even as analysts have predicted that Japan's Toyota would dethrone GM in 2007 from its 81-year global leadership in auto sales, Ford has conceded that it will loose ground to the Japanese auto maker even in the US, where it has continued to occupy the No 2 slot, despite having lost out in non-US sales to Toyota in 2003.
According to The New York Times, Ford said in an internal report, that it expected to cease having the second-highest car sales in early 2007. So far, Ford has maintained its position behind General Motors, despite losing its US market share.
Its share of the domestic market has declined from around 26 per cent in the early 1990s to 15.1 per cent in November, while Toyota's share has risen to 16.4 per cent.
Ford Motor Co's US vehicle sales in November 2006 have slipped further pushing the No 2 US automaker down to the fourth slot behind Toyota for the second time and now behind Germany's DaimlerChrysler AG as well.
Ford, which also detailed planned production cuts, announced a 9.7 per cent decline in its November 2006 sales, compared with the same period a year ago.
Ford slipped in rankings even as industry sales have risen a modest 2.9 per cent to nearly 1.2 million vehicles. In comparison, Toyota's sales rose 16 per cent boosted by demand for its popular Camry sedan.
Recent high petrol prices and a lack of fuel-efficient cars have added to Ford losing out to smaller cars from its Japanese rivals.