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We record Autoblog Podcast #317 tonight, and you can drop us your questions and comments regarding the rest of the week's news via our Q&A module below. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #317
Ford is ready to call the ball on its 2013 sales totals, predicting a first-place finish for units sold in the US for a single brand. The company anticipates selling more than 2.4 million vehicles when all vehicle sales over the last 12 months have been tallied, repeating the victory it trumpeted over Toyota last year.
According to Ford's accounting, it sold 329,677 more vehicles than did Toyota in 2012. This year, the Blue Oval expects that margin to grow; through the end of November, Ford says it has outsold Toyota by 396,041 units.
Retail sales of Ford products are projected to exceed 1.7 million units for 2013 (the best retail result in 6 years for the company), with passenger cars accounting for 600k of that total. The redesigned Fusion is expected to crest the 290k mark, and the Fiesta is said to be ready to hit a model-record of 70k-plus. Meanwhile, utility vehicles and trucks are still paying a lot of bills in Dearborn, with the new Escape racking up an expected 300k sales and F-Series trucks chugging along at 688,810 units sold thru November.
Toyota's North American CEO Jim Lentz has already given us a rough idea of what prompted the company's surprise move to the Dallas suburb of Plano, TX from its longstanding headquarters in Torrance, CA. A new story from The Los Angeles Times, though, delivers even more detail from Lentz on the reasoning for the move, what other cities were considered and why the company's current host city wasn't even in the running.
Of course, one of the more popular reasons being bandied about includes the $40 million Texas was set to give the company for the move, as well as the state's generous tax rates. According to Lentz, though, the reason Toyota chose Plano over a group of finalists made up of Atlanta, Charlotte and Denver, was far simpler than that - it was about consolidating its marketing, sales, engineering and production teams in a region that's closer to the company's seat of manufacturing in the south.
"It doesn't make sense to have oversight of manufacturing 2,000 miles away from where the cars were made," Lentz told The Times. "Geography is the reason not to have our headquarters in California."