Ford Posts Slim U.S. Sales Gain, as Utility, Lincoln Demand Rises

Ford’s overall transaction prices increased $1,800 in January, a jump it says was nearly three times the industry’s average.

David Zoia Editor, Executive Director-Content

February 2, 2016

2 Min Read
MKX one of bright spots for Lincoln brand
MKX one of bright spots for Lincoln brand.

Ford eked out a 5.0% gain in January daily sales, compared with a strong year-ago (two fewer days this year than last), mainly a result of solid demand for utility and luxury vehicles.

Weather negatively impacted industry sales overall, but traffic picked up in the final four or five days and the month “closed strong,” says Mark LaNeve, vice president-U.S. marketing, sales and service. “January is always interesting to navigate.”

The increase came on a volume of 168,566 light vehicles, according to WardsAuto data, with the Lincoln brand a particular bright spot for the automaker.

Lincoln daily sales soared 17.5% overall, a performance marked by solid gains for the MKX CUV (up 63.7%) and MKZ sedan (15.2%). Ford says Lincoln’s January results were the best since 2008.

The Ford brand didn’t fare as well, with overall sales up just 4.5% daily. Cars were the biggest weak spot, down 12.7% in volume, but truck sales also were sluggish compared with year-ago, as volume gained less than a percentage point. F-Series was among the culprits, with deliveries up only 1.6% on a daily basis.

On the bright side, Ford says overall transaction prices rose $1,800 in January, a jump it says was nearly three times the industry’s average. That was driven by demand for utility vehicles (up 3.3% in volume) SUVs and the F-Series, LaNeve says.

Ford says pricing on the F-Series increased $2,500 in the last month, while incentive costs fell $500 from year-ago levels, to $3,500 per unit, a pricing discipline that may have tempered volume for the truck in the month.

F-Series fleet deliveries are beginning to pick up with production of the new model starting to catch up to demand, Ford notes.

“We’re working to fill fleet orders on F-Series, and we’re making great progress in that area,” LaNeve says. “Our order banks are back to 2014 levels, prior to the changeover.”

Overall, fleets accounted for 34% of Ford’s total volume in January, up from 28% year-ago. Daily rental vehicles accounted for 14% of the fleet total, up from 10% year-ago.

Ford says it ended January with 720,000 vehicles in stock, equal to a 104-day supply. That compares with 599,000, or 87 days, year-ago. Of the current inventory, 213,000 units were cars, 319,000 trucks and 188,000 utility vehicles.

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About the Author(s)

David Zoia Editor

Executive Director-Content

Dave writes about autonomous vehicles, electrification and other advanced technology and industry trends.

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