Ford Sales Plummet 39 Percent

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
ford sales plummet 39 percent

Automotive News [sub] reports that US-market sales of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury-branded vehicles fell 39 percent in January, to 90,131. “Retail demand appears to have stabilized,” Ford sales analyst George Pipas told AN before those numbers were announced “Regrettably, but understandably, it stabilized at a low rate. But before you can begin to improve, things have to bottom out.” And have they ever. Ford’s press release is a roiling sea of not good, with Volvo down 64 percent, Mercury down 44 percent, Lincoln Down 23.7 percent and the Ford brand 39.5 percent versus January 2008. Fusion was the only significant seller that dropped less than 20 percent (Volvo V50 was down only 16.6 percent with a big 136 models sold, and the Towncar is up 147 percent at 510 units sold).

So instead of becoming the last known survivor stalking its prey in the night and watching bailout proceedings with the eye of the tiger, Ford is preparing to ride this bad news straight to the handout line. Ford executives announced to Automotive News [sub] that the firm expects “robust” additional funding for a program of low-interest government loans to help automakers and suppliers retool for more fuel-efficient vehicles. Beyond the $25b already appropriated, of course. Specifically, Ford is gunning for $11b worth of these so-called Section 136 loans, implying that the Obama administration should double down on the program “because President Barack Obama likes it and some congressional Democratic leaders are enthusiastic about it,” according to Ford VP for Government Affairs, Bruce Andrews.

And Ford will even make it worth the O-Man’s political capital, vowing to “work together” with state and federal officials to create a coherent national standard on fuel efficiency and tailpipe emissions. After all, the “bailout bucks used to sue states” story aint helping Detroit’s underdog turnaround narrative any. If Ford is going to get in line for more (non-136 loans) bailout money (and if February isn’t an improvement, expect it), they want to keep whatever bits of moral highground seperates them from the PR hell currently occupied by GM and Chrysler. And who can blame them?

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  • on Feb 03, 2009

    Actually, since the silly Flex went on sale, The Taurus X has gathered 11,437 sales...which is 68% of the total Flex sales (16,916). would have made a big difference. I never expected the Flex to save Ford's bacon...that is what I was told by Ford cheerleaders. And if they were anywhere near class leading, they would be selling. But they are too expensive, small, and not efficient enough.

  • Rusted Source Rusted Source on Feb 03, 2009

    I sure hope Ford can find a way to not have to go begging to the government for TARP relief. I think it was a bold move to go it on their own and I hope people reward them with sales over GM or Chrysler for their efforts. Of course even if they start to bounce back, they're still stuck in union purgatory.

  • Kcflyer on one hand it at least wont have dirty intake valves like Honda's entire lineup of direct injection ice vehicles. on the other hand a CRV offers more room, more range, faster fueling and lower price, hmm
  • Tassos BTW I thought this silly thing was always called the "Wienermobile".
  • Tassos I have a first cousin with same first and last name as my own, 17 years my junior even tho he is the son of my father's older brother, who has a summer home in the same country I do, and has bought a local A3 5-door hatch kinds thing, quite old by now.Last year he told me the thing broke down and he had to do major major repairs, replace the whole engine and other stuff, and had to rent a car for two weeks in a touristy location, and amazingly he paid more for the rental ( Euro1,500, or $1,650-$1,700) than for all the repairs, which of course were not done at the dealer (I doubt there was a dealer there anyway)
  • Tassos VW's EV program losses have already been horrific, and with (guess, Caveman!) the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory growing by leaps and bounds, the future was already quite grim for VW and the VW Group.THis shutdown will not be so temporary.The German Government may have to reach in its deep pockets, no matter how much it hates to spend $, and bail it out."too big to fail"?
  • Billccm I had a 1980 TC3 Horizon and that car was as reliable as the sun. Underappreciated for sure.