Ford edges out Toyota as No. 2

Ford Motor Co. held off Toyota Motor Corp. as the No. 2 U.S. vehicle seller in December despite a nearly 13 per cent sales drop compared with December of last year. Ford sold a total of 231,900 light vehicles in December, with Toyota just below the Dearborn-based auto maker at 228,322, the auto makers reported Wednesday. But Toyota's sales for the month, continued to increase, up more than 12 per cent when compared with December of last year.

Like Ford, the world's largest auto maker General Motors Corp. reported December sales fell 13 per cent. It sold to 334,501 vehicles last month compared with 384,620 in the same month of 2005.

Some analysts had expected Ford's sales would drop enough in December for Toyota to take the No. 2 spot. But even though truck sales declined dramatically for the month, car sales rose enough to stay ahead of the Japanese auto maker.

Toyota beat Ford in July and November, and some analysts have predicted that it will overtake Ford as the No. 2 seller of automobiles in the U.S. in 2007.

For the year, Ford's sales were down about 8 per cent to 2,918,674, due largely to a decline in truck and sport utility vehicle sales and the end of production for the Taurus sedan.

For the year, GM sales dropped 8.7 per cent from 4,454,385 to 4,065,341. More from Associated Press

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