Ford’s President of the Americas, Mark Fields tells Automotive News [sub] that production of its full sized SUV’s are being ramped up as demand has unexpectedly outstripped dwindling inventories. Due to sales of the Ford Expedition rising 45 percent in December and the Lincoln Navigator jumping 60 percent, Ford see this as a good opportunity to take advantage of this new customer confidence. Fields didn’t disclose details about the production bump, but given long term trends in full-sized sales and oil prices, we’re thinking it shouldn’t be too dramatic.
Navigator sales rose 60 percent in December to 1,758 units, but dropped 45.7 percent over 2009 at 8,057 units. Similarly, the Expedition’s 45 percent bump in December flies in the face of a 2009 total of 31,655, down 42.6 percent from 2008. Not a great indication of stunning success in 2010, all things considered.
On the other hand, Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant, where Expedition and Navigator are built since being transferred from Wayne, was designed for maximum flexibility, so it shouldn’t be too hard for Ford to turn off the supply of mega-utes once inventories are back up to comfortably bloated levels.