Ford Sales Down 10.7 Percent

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Before the Friends of the Blue Oval get out their Woo-Hoos, it behooves anyone looking at any of June’s new car sales figures to remember that today’s percentages are all stated in relation to June 2008, which was a tremendously crap month for car dealers. Industry-wide, sales fell 18 percent, as gas prices rose and America’s economic bubble popped like a festering . . . you get the idea. If not, clock this factoid: June ’09 marks the 24th year-over-year monthly decline in the last 25 months. Rose tinted glasses crushed under the jackboot of reality, let’s continue . . . “Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales totaled 148,153, down 11 percent versus a year ago, which is believed to be the month’s lowest decline among major auto manufacturers.” Yes, it’s that bad out there that doing less bad than the other guys is considered a major victory. Click here for full results. Jump for instant analysis (just add page views). Again, Ford’s press release is full of the sales equivalent of moral relativism.

“Ford Mustang sales to retail customers [7,632 vs. 10,893] nearly matched year-ago levels.” Not sure what part of that stat’s retail and what part’s fleet (Ford pulling its usual stunt in this regard). Taken as a whole, that’s a 29.9 percent drop to you and me.

“Retail sales for the Ford F-Series and Ranger pickup trucks were higher than a year ago.” As Steely Dan sang in Gaucho, would you care to explain? ‘I’m seeing a 7.4 percent drop in F-150 sales (35,915 and a 38,789 and a 4.4 percent increase in Rangers. Still, if not for pickups, Ford would be dead.

“Although Lincoln sales were lower than a year ago, Lincoln gained market share in the luxury segment in the first half of 2009 versus a year ago. This primarily reflects the strength of the all-new Lincoln MKS sedan.”

Yes, they are lower: 7,137 vs. 9,718, for a 26.6 percent drop. And yes, sales of the new MKS are WAY up in percentage terms—254.5 percent. But the raw numbers are still pretty dire: 1,365 vs. 385 units. To put that in some perspective, BMW sold 8,621 3-Series and 3,904 5-Series sedans last month.

Anyway, there’s Blue Oval blood everywhere. The monthly and year-to-date numbers are staggeringly bad. Suffice it to say, my preliminary read of these stats is that Ford’s “success” is fleeting. The only models not jumping off a cliff are vehicles headed for fleet duty. Hence Ford’s insistence on touting retail sales—without revealing them. See how that works? And the production ramp-up only looks good in comparison to the total shutdown in Q2, which allowed inventory levels to taper off. See how that works?

Now that New Chrysler is burning tax dollars without a car in the world, and New GM is about to emerge debt-free with the Mother of All Sugar Daddies (Uncle Sam) footing the bills, Ford is looking more and more like the next American English patient, if you know what I mean.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Jul 02, 2009
    NulloModo : Also, this is the last chance to get a Town Car or Grand Marquis through the retail channel. Ford has stated quite clearly that ‘09 is the last model year where the vehicles will be on dealer lots. Yes, fleets will still be able to buy them after this, but average consumers without FIN codes or knowing a fleet purchaser will be out of luck. That explains it: my fleet guy said that the Town Car would be available for anyone in 2010. It will be interesting to see how this pans out. Because if Panther sales don't take a nose-dive in 2010 and remain competitive with the D3, Ford is in big trouble. (in the full size car market, that is.)
  • Cpmanx Cpmanx on Jul 03, 2009

    King Bojack: This month Ford beat Toyota by a huge margin. The Fusion outsold the Altima, putting it in the top tier of midsize cars for the first time. The ancient Escape outsold both the RAV4 and the CR-V. The F-150 outsold the Silverado by nearly 50%. Those are pretty impressive stats, and they don't depend on any misleading year-to-year or month-to-month comparisons. It will be interesting to see what happens when all those ChryCo and GM dealers shut their doors, leaving Ford as the only player in many town/rural locations. We'll find out soon enough which strategy was the truly smart one.

  • JOHN One is for sale on an ebay car donation site.
  • Scott So they are losing hundreds of millions of dollars and they are promising us a “Cheaper EV”? I wonder how that will look and feel? They killed the Fiesta because they claimed that they couldn’t make a profit on them and when I bought the first one in late 2010 they couldn’t deliver the accessories I wanted for it! Then I bought a 2016 Fiesta ST and again couldn’t get the accessories for it I wanted. They claimed that the components were going to be available, eventually. So they lost on that one as well! I don’t care about what they say anymore. I’ve moved on to another brand.
  • Michael S6 CX 70 or 90 will not be on my buying list. Drove a rental base CX 90 and it was noisy and the engine noise was not pleasant. Ride was rough for a family SUV. Mazda has to understand that what is good for Miata isn't what we expect in semi luxury SUV. My wife's 2012 Buick Enclave has much better Ride and noise level albeit at worse gas millage. Had difficulty pairing my phone with Apple CarPlay
  • Michael S6 What is the metric conversion between one million barrels and the number of votes he expects to buy.
  • NJRide This could give Infiniti dealers an extra product maybe make it a sub brand