Ford Sales Increase 2.4 Percent, Still Down 30 Percent on the Year

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Ford’s press release ( PDF) makes no bones about the source of relatively high demand for its products. “The U.S. government’s Car Allowance Rebate System (“Cash for Clunkers”) enabled Ford to post the first sales increase of any major manufacturer in 2009,” is the word from Dearborn. And though Ford’s year-on-year sales for July did climb by 2.4 percent, July marks the first such increase since November 2007. Most of that growth came from Ford’s more fuel-efficient vehicles, as Fusion/Milan was up 66/60 percent, Escape/Mariner up 94/71 percent, Focus up 44 percent and Ranger up 65 percent. So, government-stimulated models aside, how are things looking for the Blue Oval Boyz?

Er, not so great after all. The much-vaunted Taurus is way down, shedding 57 percent compared to last July’s sales of the outgoing model. Ford’s other big hope, the Flex, sold only 3,631 units. Though that’s a year-on-year increase of nearly 65 percent, it breaks the model’s steady volume increase trajectory, having sold 4,784 units last month. And the Taurus isn’t the only recently-refreshed Ford that is failing to spark demand: the new 2010 Mustang has hit the skids, down 37.6 percent to 6,686 units. Edge is holding relatively steady, falling only 7.7 percent.

Ranger may be blowing up, but F-series is down 19 percent. Econoline/Club Wagon is doing even worse at -30 percent. Expedition is down 26 percent, but it’s closing the gap on Explorer which was down 42 percent to 3,108 units.

Lincoln is down across the board, with the single exception of an uptick in Town Car sales (up 95 percent to 1,841). That surge makes the Panther body Lincoln’s biggest volume seller, with MKX coming in second at 1,642 (down 18 percent). Milan and Mariner may be saving Mercury, but Sable (-84.8 percent to 345 units) and Mountaineer (-30 percent to 403 units) are helping drag it right back down. Meanwhile, Volvo’s S60 is enjoying an unexpected summer renaissance, up 257 percent to 1,461 units. XC90 is the biggest loser (down 45 percent) while V50 (+50 percent) and C70 (+27 percent) are hanging in there.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • IDANECK IDANECK on Aug 04, 2009

    Hey, if someone made a car with "nothing", I'd seriously consider it and get plates that say Luddite. Vinyl seats, rubber floors and trunk, column shifter, AM radio (I listen often), abd steel wheels. SEL is the mid-line, not the Limited or SHO model. Sync, dual climate, AM/FM/CD changer, power seats/mirrors, good-sized wheels...that's what most people would end up buying and really use. Leather is a waste in most climates, sunroof might be nice and that's about it. Not a bad deal for such a big car. Yes, it's more than a Taurus or even a Crown Vic used to be. Heck, I was surprised when a family member recently paid $41k for a new Acura TL...not many years ago they were around #31k OTD and that was sticker. $30k is only the starting point, and thats alot of car for the money.

  • Brettc Brettc on Aug 05, 2009

    VW did post a sales increase. Not a lot at 0.7%, but it's an increase. And it was mostly because of the TDI, especially with the Jetta wagon. Imagine that, people want diesel powered cars! http://media.vw.com/index.php?s=43&item=477

  • Ronin Let's see the actuals first, then we can decide using science.What has been the effect of auto pollution levels since the 70s when pollution control devices were first introduced? Since the 80s when they were increased?How much has auto pollution specifically been reduced since the introduction of hybrid vehicles? Of e-vehicles?We should well be able to measure the benefits by now, by category of engine. We shouldn't have to continue to just guess the benefits. And if we can't specifically and in detail measure the benefits by now, it should make a rational person wonder if there really are any real world benefits.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Simply put, I like it.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Ah GM, never stop being you. GM is working hard to make FIAT look good.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Top Gear of the 2000's was a fresh concept and very well done. Sadly to say there isn't a TV show concept that doesn't eventually exhaust fresh ideas and, as a result, begins to rehash and wear out once were fresh ideas. The show eventually becomes a pale imitation of itself, then begins to embarrass itself, it will get to a point where it jumps the shark. Top Gear began to get stale, the Clarkson, Hammond and May left and the formula failed - surprise! the presenters were part of the magic. Fast forward many years and Grand Tower is trying hard to be Top Gear but it's all very obviously scripted (it always was by felt spontaneous in its original form), Clarkson, Hammond and May are much older, tired and have become caricatures of themselves. Guys, just stop. You should have stopped 10 years ago. Now you're just screwing with your reputations and legacies.
  • FreedMike Kudos to Toyota for making a legitimately slick looking piece (particularly in metallic cherry red). But PHEVs seem like a very narrow niche to me. Yes, the concept is cool - if you play your cards right you never have to fill up with gas, and the gas engine means you don't have to worry about charging facilities - but the operative words are "if you play your cards right." And PHEVs have all the drawbacks of EVs - spotty charging availability, decreased range in cold conditions, and higher price. Personally, I'd opt for a non plug-in Prius and use the plug-in money to upgrade the trim level. It's slower, but even the base Prius performs roughly on par with a Corolla or Civic, so it's not a dog anymore. But who buys a Prius to go fast in the first place? If I wanted to "go gas free," I'd just buy a BEV. YMMV, of course.
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