Detroit (TheStreet) -- Ford (F - Get Report) on Friday discounted fears of an overheated auto market, saying the continuing rise in auto sales is being fuel by a need to replace aging vehicles -- and not by excessive incentives or credit.
"I wouldn't call it frothy at this point," said John Felice, Ford vice president for U.S. marketing, sales and service, on the automaker's monthly sales call. An analyst had asked whether Ford sees frothiness in the auto credit markets.
Felice said, "We have noted a gradual trend over the last three to four years to 72-month financing," extending the traditional 60-month term. He noted that "the low interest rate environment we're operating in [is] giving customers more choices." But he reiterated: "I wouldn't categorize it as frothy -- it's really good for consumers."
Read More: Auto Sales Stay Frothy in July -- But S&P Spots a Debt Problem
Shortly after noon, Ford shares traded down 25 cents to $16.77. GM (GM - Get Report) traded down 33 cents to $33.49.
Experts, including TheStreet's Doug Kass, have concluded that the auto market is becoming overheated.
Read More: July Auto Sales Continue Blistering Pace as Ford, GM, Chrysler Gain Chrysler said it internally projects that the seasonally adjusted annual rate for U.S. light vehicle sales to be 16.8 million units, while GM projects the SAAR at 16.7 million. The question is whether this is "frothy" or not.