DETROIT -- After 19 years, Chevrolet is once again wearing the sales crown.
The final tally for 2005: Chevrolet, 2,651,124; Ford Division, 2,634,041, a difference of 17,083 units. Last year, Ford beat Chevrolet by 18,801 units.
Chevrolet finished 2005 as the top-selling U.S. brand, a title it last claimed in 1986, even though it sold fewer cars and trucks than in 2004. But a dramatic drop in truck sales at Ford Division sealed its fate.
Ford's car sales actually grew by 57,804 units in 2005. But the division's truck sales plunged by 189,932 units.
Chevrolet's car sales fell by 9,123 units in 2005. But its falloff in truck sales, 87,121 units, was less severe than Ford's. The sales race between Ford and Chevrolet was watched closely, especially after it tightened as the year drew to a close.
On Oct. 1, Chevrolet's lead was 24,204 units. By Dec. 1, that lead had shrunk to 9,318 units.
Despite the closeness of the race and the bragging rights involved, dealers say neither Ford nor Chevrolet put on any extra incentives to push for the sales crown.
You may e-mail Dale Jewett at [email protected]