Ford Motor Co. says its Ford brand really outsold Chevrolet in 2005. Ford will demand that Chevrolet stop advertising itself as America's top brand, a company official said.
But General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner responded Sunday that GM will stand by sales data that show Chevrolet won the 2005 sales crown.
R.L. Polk & Co. registration data received by Ford executives Saturday showed that Ford had 5,000 more registrations in 2005 than Chevrolet, Ford spokes-man Jim Cain said. Ford quickly whipped up a slide on the Polk data to include in its make meeting Sunday.
Chevrolet earlier reported sales of 2,651,124 vehicles in 2005. Ford's reported sales were 2,634,041. Chevrolet has been blanketing the airwaves with commercials touting it as America's top brand - a title it last claimed in 1986.
Ford intends to send GM a letter this week asking that Chevrolet change the ads, Cain said.
"The lesson here is to make sure that all the facts are in your favor before you make such a bold claim," he said. "Fair is fair."
According to Ford, Polk data show 2.630 million total Ford registrations in 2005 compared with 2.625 million for Chevrolet. Even when medium-duty trucks are exempted, Ford still had the most registrations, Cain said.
Polk registrations show the number of vehicles registered by retail and fleet customers. The earlier data released by the manufacturers reflect sales as reported by dealers.
A GM spokeswoman said sales data are the industry standard and that there are always discrepancies between sales and registration data. Wagoner said GM will stand by its claim based on sales data.
"All I know is the data we published and we all go by," Wagoner said. "That's been out a month or so. Our data is right. It's published, public data which has come out."
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