Ford Motor Co. expects the full-sized U.S. pickup market to fall, then stabilize at 12 percent of overall auto sales, Reuters reports. U.S. sales of full-sized pickups, which have slowed in recent months on high gasoline prices, rising interest rates and a slowing housing construction market, currently account for about 13 percent of overall U.S. auto sales, said Cisco Codina, the automaker's North American sales chief. The pickup segment has been a source of profits for the Detroit 3, which have steadily lost market share in other categories to Asian brands in recent years. Ford's market share in the shrinking full-sized pickup segment is up 1 percentage point so far this year, Codina said, though sales of F-series pickups are off 12.7 percent through August months compared to the prior year. Ford has forecast it will sell about 900,000 pickup trucks this year, but analysts have said the company could fall short. Ford's pickup lineup also faces renewed competition this year, especially from GM and Toyota Motor Corp. GM is launching its redesigned line of full-sized Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups later this year, while Toyota is gearing up to launch its revamped 2007 model-year Tundra soon. Ford said it would unveil the 2008 model of its F-Series Super Duty pickup aimed at commercial truck buyers on Sept. 28 at the Texas State Fair in Dallas.
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