F-Series Carries Ford in August

Ford sales struggle in August, with F-Series as the bright spot amid otherwise dismal car, SUV and fleet business.

Bob Gritzinger, Editor-in-Chief

September 1, 2017

2 Min Read
Making hay rsquo18 F150 picks up Ford sales load
Making hay: ’18 F-150 picks up Ford sales load.

Declining car, SUV and fleet deliveries continued to weigh down Ford sales in August, with car volume off 18.9%, offset by light-truck volume that grew 1.8%, according to WardsAuto data.

The performance marked a 6.0% drop in the daily sales from like-2016, with one more selling day this year than last. On a daily-sales basis, cars were off 12% while light trucks fell 4.1% on deliveries of 47,652 cars and 156,766 trucks. Overall, the Ford brand was off 5.9%, while Lincoln dropped 9.3%.

Ford reported a double-digit spike in F-Series deliveries, including medium- and heavy-duty pickups, compared with the same period last year, providing a bright spot amid declines that included an 11.3% drop in SUV sales. Light-duty F-150 pickups saw a 4% increase, Ford says.

“We are seeing high demand overall for our F-Series lineup this year, outpacing fullsize-truck

segment growth two to one with a 15% increase for August,” says Mark LaNeve, vice president-U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service.

Besides F-Series, the only Ford models seeing upticks in August were the C-Max (+4.1%) and Focus sedan (+5.1%). The Expedition, which will be replaced by an all-new ’18 model later this year, plummeted 52.6%, while the Mustang, due for a mid-model makeover later this year, was down nearly 36%.

Lincoln’s only bright spot was the Continental sedan with 816 deliveries in August, bringing its year-to-date total to 8,020.

LaNeve says fleet numbers, off 0.2% on sales of 45,830 units, should begin picking up in September and will continue strong through year end. The Dearborn automaker projects fleet sales at 29% of total volume for the year, similar to 2016.

Overall, the automaker reports transaction prices exceeding the industry average, while incentive spending is down compared with July and year-ago levels. Despite downward pressure on truck pricing, F-150 incentives are down $266 since July and $280 compared to year-ago, LaNeve notes.

While the full effects of Hurricane Harvey are still undetermined, LaNeve expects impact similar to Hurricane Katrina, with a sales boost coming in the next three to four months as dealers replace lost inventory and consumers begin replacing flood-damaged vehicles,

So far, Ford estimates its dealers lost a few thousand vehicles in the storm. The company has 110 dealers in the Houston area and all but 13 have re-opened for business, with 10 of those recovering from significant damage.

“We’re hoping for a speedy recovery and this includes our dealers in the area,” LaNeve says, noting Ford has pledged some $3.5 million to assist in disaster relief.

Ford ended August with 630,801 vehicles in stock, equal to an 81-day supply, up from 616,824 (77 days) at the end of July but down from 639,967 (78) year-ago. Car inventory stood at an 85-day supply, with utilities at 75 days and trucks at 83.

[email protected] @bobgritzinger

About the Author(s)

Bob Gritzinger

Editor-in-Chief, WardsAuto

Bob Gritzinger is Editor-in-Chief of WardsAuto and also covers Advanced Propulsion & Technology for Wards Intelligence.

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