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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ford (F) Expected top GM (GM) in March Sales

For only the second time in the last 13 years, Ford Motor (NYSE:F) is expected to surpass rival General Motors (NYSE:GM) in monthly sales, as the companies prepare to report March U.S. sales on Friday.

Also being watched closely will be the impact the devastating earthquake in Japan has had on the industry, with much of it being speculation and guesses as the story continues to play out.

Overall for the month, sales in the U.S. are expected to come ina t $1.24 million trucks and cars, an increase of 16.5 percent over the same month in 2010, and 25 percent over the prior month, according to Edmunds.com.

J.D. Power and Associates analyst Jeff Schuster, "... retail sales in March may be benefitting from the uncertainty around inventory levels, as consumers flock to dealerships to secure their choice of vehicle as availability decreases.”

Ford (F) sales in March should rise by about 15 percent, which would put the company ahead of GM (GM).

“GM seems to have pulled back on incentives in March and could suffer a sales hangover through the next few months, given that the company’s earlier offers have been quite generous and may have pulled ahead future sales,” Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell added.

Ford was trading at $14.93, gaining $0.09, or 0.57 percent, as of 2:54 PM EDT. General Motors was at $31.55, up $0.45, or 1.45 percent.

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