2011 Ford ExplorerEnlarge Photo
And somehow, Ford managed to continue the upswing that it had started heading into the period—with some impressive gains in sales and market share.
R.L. Polk & Co. has helped put this into perspective: In a post, analyst Tom Libby explains that Ford's overall gain in market share from calendar-year 2008 to CY 2010 is more than the entire market share of Subaru, Mazda, or Volkswagen.
Over those two years, Ford has gained a very impressive 2.5 percent of market share, up to about 14.8 percent for 2010.
What's even more impressive is that the market share hasn't been earned through just a few halo vehicles. During those two years, eight of the seventeen Ford models have gained market share.
The Ford Fusion, F-Series, and Escape each gained a half a percent or more from 2008 to 2010. while only the Explorer, Crown Victoria, and Expedition (along with the discontinued Taurus X) lost market share—and even in all of those cases it was a tenth of a percent or less.
Those are great signs for the brand and the company, as its success hasn't been rooted in a particular vehicle line, or type of vehicle—although it does remain somewhat dependent on the F-150 as a profit center. The brand also otherwise looks well-positioned for rising gas prices—a heightened concern over the past several weeks given recent political upheaval throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
According to Autodata—and cited by MSN Money—Ford is one of just two, out of all the U.S. and Asian automakers, to reduce its average incentives last month—while its sales grew 13 percent.
Ford is expected to finish February with about 16 percent of the market, ranking it after General Motors but ahead of Toyota.