Ford’s sales momentum continues unabated, as the Blue Oval has announced that its January sales were up 25 percent over January 2009 [full release in PDF format here]. Sales were led by a a strong performance from Ford-branded cars, which were up 54 percent as a category, with individual nameplates logging gains ranging from 33 percent (Focus, 10,389 units) to 121 percent (Taurus, 3,768 units). Ford Crossovers and SUVs were up 16.7 and 12.9 percent respectively, with most of the volume gains coming from CUVs like the Escape (+28.6%, 10,753) and Edge (+25.5%, 6,243 units). Ford truck sales were up 14.5 percent, with heavy commercial vehicles falling and the Ranger recording a strong 47.3 percent gain to 4,143 units.
Mercury saw a 5.8 percent increase, largely on a 112 percent jump in Grand Marquis sales (1,536 units), but with overall sales of 5,482, Merc still isn’t making a strong case for itself. Lincoln sales were up 15.5 percent, but again, much of the volume gains were from Town Car (+52.5 percent, 777 units), although MKX logged a 26.7 percent increase to 2,198 units. MKT is off to a weak start with only 715 units moved in January, while MKS and MKZ both fell by double digit percentages, to below 1,500 units. Volvo gained 42 percent, but managed a total brand volume of only 4,128 units.
Meanwhile, it’s important to remember that much of Ford’s bump this month likely came from less-profitable fleet sales. Ford’s release notes:
In January, Ford sales to fleet customers more than doubled last January’s depressed levels (up 154 percent) when most fleet owners deferred vehicle purchases due to the credit crunch and uncertain business and economic conditions.
Ford posted gains in every fleet market – commercial, government and rental. On an annual basis, a majority of Ford’s fleet sales are to commercial and government customers where the Ford F-Series truck and Econoline van have long been top sellers. Today, products such as Fusion, Taurus and Escape are popular choices among fleet customers.