Shocker: Ford beats Government Motors in Q1

“Beats” being a relative term of the amount of red ink, of course.  Oddly, the New York Times and the AP neglected to mention this rather notable occurance, but BizzyBlog did the work that American journalists apparently won’t — research.  For the first time in 80 years, Ford outsold GM, bringing in a topline number of $24.8 billion in sales, against the bailed-out automaker’s $22.4 billion.  Both companies had severe reductions in global sales over 2008’s Q1 figures, with Ford losing almost $15 billion in revenue — and GM over $20 billion.

Ford beat GM on the bottom line, too, although that victory seems somewhat Pyrrhic as well.  GM lost six billion dollars on the bottom line, while Ford managed to stanch the bleeding down to $1.4 billion.  Even that shows better efficiency at Ford, with losses amounting to 105% of sales, while GM’s loss figures to 127% of sales.  Clearly, if either or both are improving, it appears Ford is ahead of the curve compared to the formerly dominant manufacturer.

Ford wasn’t all that far behind GM last year, but the marketplace has shifted in Ford’s favor.  While a number of factors may play into that, could buyers have more confidence in Ford and its staying power for having opted out of the bailout?  And could this also be a signal from consumers that they will punish GM and potentially Chrysler as well for taking taxpayer money, especially since bankruptcy will occur anyway?