Amid all the doom and gloom, Ford Motor Co. had something to brag about in July: The F series was back on top in sales.
For 30 years, the F-series pickup has been the best-selling nameplate in the United States. Oh, sure, Chevrolet's big pickup rose to the top for a month here and there. But like death and taxes, you could be sure the F series would again prevail.
Until May, that is, when the Honda Civic won the race. Not only that, the F series plunged to fifth place, behind the Civic, Toyota Corolla/Matrix, Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. It wasn't even close: The Civic was 10,326 sales ahead of the F series.
In July, the Earth settled back on its axis. The F series returned to first place, 2,698 sales ahead of the runner-up Camry. For the year to date, the F series led the second-place Camry by 37,530 deliveries. The Civic dropped out of the top five in July because of a shortage of cars.
First place or not, it cannot be considered a successful year for Ford's Big F. In July, sales were down 20.6 percent from last year.
In October, Honda plans to start Civic production at a new plant in Greensburg, Ind., which will make the car a stronger contender for No. 1.