Ford, the best-selling automotive brand, will lose U.S. market share for the eighth consecutive year in 2003 despite strong sales of its redesigned F-150 pickup, according to the Detroit News
.Ford Motor Co.'s leading brand will captureabout 17.2 percent of the U.S. car and truck market this year, short of the automaker's projected share of 17.6 percent, said Ford Division President Steve Lyons, the News
reported.The Blue Oval brand has lost market share steadily since 1995, when it controlled 21.8 percent of the U.S. market. The decline comes as today's increasingly competitive, incentive-rich market presents a huge challenge for Ford Motor as the automaker struggles to meet a target of $7 billion in annual pretax profit bymid-decade, the News
said."Everybody thinks, well, retail-wise, we're not in the ballgame," Lyons said, according to the News
"But that's not the case. We've decided to pass on some rental car business because the incentives there have gotten to the point where it's just marginally profitable, if profitable at all."Ford is not alone, according to the News
. Chevrolet and Dodge also have lost share in recent years, though both have seen increases in the last 12 months, the newspaper reported.