ORLANDO, Fla. -- The discrepancy between 2005 U.S. sales numbers and R.L. Polk registration data spurred a volley of trash talking between folks at the Ford brand and those at Chevrolet.
The spat began when Ford touted the Polk results at last week's National Automobile Dealers Association convention. Ford told its dealers that Chevrolet's claim to be the top-selling U.S. brand was bogus.
Ford spokesman Jim Cain scolded Chevrolet, saying, "The lesson here is to make sure that all the facts are in your favor before you make such a bold claim. . . . Fair is fair."
Ford demanded that Chevrolet stop advertising itself as the 2005 sales leader. Even though General Motors says sales reports are the industry standard, Cain said, Chevrolet ads have cited Polk registration data on other issues. GM, meanwhile, scoffed at Ford. In an interview at NADA, CEO Rick Wagoner said sales figures are "what we all go by."
"Our data is right," Wagoner said. "It's published, public data, which has come out."
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