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News of  February 22, 2000


Ford Motor Company Extends Sales Lead in Strongest California Industry Ever
California Surpasses National Growth, Ford Leads for 4th Straight Year

ANAHEIM, Calif. - There were 1,861,898 new car and truck registrations in California during 1999, setting an all-time calendar year record for the automotive industry in the Golden State and further underscoring its strong economy.

According to registration numbers released by The Polk Company, this represents 11.4 percent growth over impressive 1998 numbers for the state, and it surpasses the national growth rate of 8.7 percent. Additionally, California's truck share of total vehicle industry continues to grow, with trucks now representing 46.6 percent of total new vehicle purchases in the state.

For the fourth straight year, Ford Motor Company earned the annual sales crown in the state with new car and truck registrations of 403,931 during the year -- 27,316 more units than second place General Motors and 136,448 more than third place Toyota. If registrations of Ford subsidiaries Jaguar, Volvo Car and Aston Martin are included, the Ford Motor Company total for 1999 is 426,998 -- 46,966 more units than General Motors with the addition of their Saab subsidiary. Of particular note is Jaguar's success, leading California's luxury segment growth with registrations up 53 percent over 1998.

Ford Motor Company's share of the 1999 California new vehicle market was 21.7 percent compared with General Motors at 20.2 percent and Toyota at 13.3 percent.

Ford Division

For the 17th straight year, Ford Division was the combined new car and truck sales leader among all automotive divisions in California. According to the Polk report, Ford Division dealers delivered 354,413 new cars and trucks in 1999 -- 107,330 more units than second place Toyota and 153,384 more than third-place Chevrolet. Drew Atkinson, Ford Division California regional manager, said that "Ford truck sales continue to dominate and the popular Ford F-Series is again the best-selling vehicle in California, with registrations of 79,834 up 17.5 percent over 1998."

Four of the state's 10 best-selling vehicles are Ford trucks: F-Series, Explorer, Ranger and Expedition. Taurus, Mustang and Escort are among the top 10 best-selling cars in the state.

Atkinson noted that "Ford Division in California is off to a phenomenal start for the 2000 model year with dealers reporting brisk sales of the all-new Ford Focus and Excursion, and the redesigned Taurus. We are expecting 2000 to be another record-breaking year with exciting new products that will arrive in the months ahead, including the Explorer Sport and Sport Trac, Ford Escape and the new Ford F-150 SuperCrew."

Lincoln Mercury

California-based Lincoln Mercury achieved state-wide registrations of 49,518 new cars and trucks in 1999, up 14 percent over 1998 and outstripping the industry's growth rate. Mercury registrations were particularly strong for the popular Cougar (up 45.3 percent over 1998) and Grand Marquis (up 16 percent).

According to Mike Richards, Lincoln Mercury California regional manager, "1999 sales of the luxury Navigator SUV in California were the strongest in the nation, with 5,086 registered. Additionally, the Lincoln LS, Motor Trend's 2000 Car of the Year, achieved registrations of 1,666 in California since its mid-year introduction, representing a tremendously strong start and confirmation that Californians are agreeing with Motor Trend."

Looking to the new year, Richards noted, "The LS and Navigator have broadened Lincoln's appeal markedly, and the momentum will continue in 2000 with the introduction of our long wheelbase Lincoln Town Car Cartier L. Turning to Mercury, sales of the redesigned Sable are red hot, and we are looking forward to the extensively redesigned Mountaineer SUV which will debut later this year. The new Mountaineer will incorporate many of the features shown in the Mountaineer Concept at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show last month. We're expecting a great year in our home state."



California Registrations Calendar Year 1999

Top Three Automotive Companies - Car & Truck

2. General Motors 376,615**
3. Toyota 267,483


Top Three Automotive Divisions - Car & Truck

1. FORD DIVISION 354,413
2. Toyota 247,083
3. Chevrolet 201,029


Top 10 Cars
1. Toyota Camry 78,586
2. Honda Civic 66,429
3. Honda Accord 66,231
4. Toyota Corolla 47,977
5. FORD TAURUS 33,201
6. FORD MUSTANG 30,398
7. FORD ESCORT 22,470
8. VW Jetta 22,373
9. Saturn 20,101
10. Chevrolet Cavalier 18,649

*  Does not include Jaguar, Volvo, Aston Martin or Mazda.
** Does not include Saab

Top 10 Vehicles
1. FORD F-SERIES 79,834
2. Toyota Camry 78,586
3. Honda Civic 66,429
4. Honda Accord 66,231
6. Chevrolet C/K 49,045
7. Toyota Corolla 47,977
8. Toyota Tacoma 36,682
9. FORD RANGER 36,655

(Feb. 16, 2000)


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