Chevrolet and Ford duke it out every year for the title of Americas best-selling brand. And in January the winner was . . . Toyota.
How does that figure? By looking at sales to individuals rather than total sales.
Total sales include low-profit sales to daily-rental and corporate fleets. A different and perhaps more meaningful way to measure popularity is to look at sales to real people laying out their own hard-earned dough.
In January, Chevy sold 172,428 vehicles. GMs fleet average was 38 percent, and history shows Chevy typically in line with that. That means about 107,000 January retail sales for Chevy.
The Ford brand sold 168,227 units in January. Ford Motor Co. said overall fleet sales were about 39 percent, and Ford analyst George Pipas said the Ford brand was consistent with that figure. That means about 102,500 Ford retail sales.
Trailing in total sales was the Toyota brand, at 130,266. But fleet sales were only 8.5 percent. That means about 119,150 vehicles were sold to individuals.
And those are numbers that should have GM and Ford quaking in their boots.