Ford Sales Dip in June, First Half

Overall volume was off 2.0% in the first half of 2018, with cars dropping nearly 14% while trucks gained 2.0%.

Bob Gritzinger, Editor-in-Chief

July 3, 2018

2 Min Read
'18 Ford Focus
Get it before it’s not: Focus inventory runs out early next year, Ford says.

Ford’s U.S. daily sales dipped 2.6% in June and overall sales volume was off 2.0% in the first six months of 2018 as the Dearborn automaker continues to adjust to the market’s dramatic shift from cars to trucks and SUVs.

Ford delivered 178,191 light trucks and 45,335 cars in June as car sales continue to plummet, down 17.2% in June on a daily-sales basis and off 13.9% in total volume for the year, while light trucks were up 2.0% last month and for the year, according to Wards Intelligence data.

Overall, Ford brand daily sales were down 2.7% for the month while Lincoln was off 1.0%. There were 27 selling days in June, one more than year-ago.

Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president-U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service, says the ongoing transition from cars to SUVs that began in 2011 is accelerating as more buyers make the shift. Car volume is at its lowest level since the 2009 recession, LaNeve notes.

The company’s highly profitable Lincoln Navigator saw a 62.1% daily-sales gain in June (and 120% at retail) while the companion Ford Expedition was up 6.0% (21% retail). At the same time, every Ford car except the Fiesta (+14.8%) and the Mustang (+15.2%) were off by double digits in June.

Ford is ending sales of all cars except the Mustang and the CUV-like Focus Active as it concentrates development on trucks and CUVs. As a result, dealer inventory of the Focus small car is expected to run out early next year, LaNeve says, while the all-new EcoSport small CUV is ramping up, posting 24,000 deliveries since going on sale in January in the U.S.

The bread-and-butter F-Series posted a 1.8% decline in daily sales but was up on a volume basis 2.0% for the month and 4.7% for the year.

“F-Series has posted gains for 14 consecutive months, while Ford SUVs posted a new record June sales month and Transit sales gain 25%,” LaNeve says. “Our all-new Lincoln Navigator continues as the hottest new product in the country, with triple-digit gains in the first half.”

LaNeve says if strong second-half trends from the past three years continue in 2018, the industry could see a near-record or record sales year. For example, F-Series sales are running ahead of the record pace set by the truck in 2004, which could bode well for the rest of the year, he notes.

So far, the company isn’t concerned about potentially higher fuel prices or the effects of tariffs eating into sales. LaNeve says consumers can cope with incremental fuel price increases, aided by increased fuel efficiency of trucks and SUVs.

As for tariffs, LaNeve says: “Our most profitable vehicles are built in the U.S., so that affords us a certain amount of protection.”


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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