Fifty-seven years ago, Ford Motor Co. passed Chrysler Corp. to become the No. 2 producer of cars in North America behind General Motors. Ford held that position from 1950 through 2006, but this year things have changed. Ford has slipped from second place in car output to fourth place.
From January through October of this year, Ford built 711,889 cars at six plants in North America. That's down from 998,989 cars in seven plants through the first 10 months of 2006.
It's been a tough decade for Ford cars. Consider the first 10 months of 2000. During that stretch, Ford produced about 1.5 million cars in North America.