(autoinsidernews) - Ford expects that Toyota will unseat it as the second largest automaker operating in the United States, according to the New York Times. Ford's internal projections suggest that Toyota may permanently surpass Ford in share of the U.S. market as early as January. Ford has held the number two spot since the 1920s.
Toyota knocked Ford out of the number two spot in July, but Ford moved back into the spot for several months after that until falling to number four in November. Ford expects Toyota will return to number two for most or all of 2007, and for the foreseeable future.
Edmunds is also predicting that Toyota will pass Ford by mid-2007, reports Trend.
Ford's chief sales statistician, George Pipas, declined to comment on the company's internal projections. Reagarding the Edmunds forecast, Mr. Pipas said, Unless you think Toyota is going to go backwards, it's a good possibility that they will gain market share.