By on April 1, 2010

March is shaping up to be the biggest month in car sales since Cash for Clunkers ended, and Ford isn’t being left behind [official release in PDF format here]. The firm’s sales rose 43 percent last month, matching February’s performance and setting another record for sales since 1984. Ford brand sales led the way with a 45.6 percent increase, while Lincoln climbed 18.9 percent and Mercury rose 26.2 percent. Focus hit 19,500 units, a 57.5 percent increase, while Fusion sales grew 79 percent to 22,773 units, an all-time record for the nameplate. Escape flirted with the 20k mark as well at 19,182, while F-Series hit 42,514, a 30 percent increase. Explorer even saw a 78 percent bump to 5,907, and a 53 percent bump in fleet sales sent over 10,000 Econolines out the door. Lincoln sold 450 more MKZs than it did last March, otherwise only the Town Car and Navigator were up (modestly). Milan carried the Mercury brand, up 71 percent to 3,897 units. Grand Marquis and Mariner sold 3,532 and 2,482 respectively. Though Ford had a great month sales-wise, its luxury brand situation continues to be one hot, steaming mess.

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17 Comments on “Ford March Sales Up 43 Percent...”


  • avatar
    bmoredlj

    I’m still waiting for the car-buying public to finally get wise to the fact they’re buying re-badged Fords at hefty premiums, but it didn’t happen last month, either. Or maybe they have, and just don’t care.

    With healthy sales upticks, either ignorance is bliss, or Merc/Linc is more than the sum of its parts. This is a good case for Ford to remain in a holding pattern. Throwing money at the brands is only justifiable if sales are consistently falling, and they just aren’t.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert Schwartz

      My experience shopping FoMoCo products has been that the identical vehicles say Taurus and Sable, when identically equipped, carried the same invoices and MSRPs.

      That said, the Mercs usually were better equipped than the Fords, which should account for the different stickers.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The Fusion->MKZ, Flex->MKT, Taurus->MKS, and Edge->MKX relationship isn’t a simple rebadge. For all except the MKX the bodywork is completely different, and the interiors of all of them are completely different.

      Going to the Lincoln gets you exclusive content not available on the similar Ford or Mercury models in most cases, such as industry-leading quality leather, air conditioned seats, adaptive swiveling headlamps, real wood interior trim, and more powerful engines standard.

      The only thing that remains remotely close between a Fusion and a MKZ are the dimensions and the driving dynamics, and since driving dynamics are near the bottom of the list of important things to consider for a lot of the car buying public, and since the Ford donor-cars already have excellent driving dynamics already, the Lincolns stand up for themselves well.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Wow – for every 10 Ford Fusions sold someone buys a Lincoln MKZ with its tastefully decorated grill work upfront.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Wow…Ford fleet sales up 53%?

    Ouch.

    And yet another month of Lincoln/Mercury proving they’re dead weight. Flex sales were better than abysmal, and the “chrome-n-badge” Taurus (MKS) broke it’s almost year long record of negative monthly sales (2010 vs 2009)…but you can still see that the ‘bland and bloated’ Taurus is eating up MKTaurus sales with a vengeance…

    And yet another month where the Camaro outsold the Mustang.

    • 0 avatar

      And yet the consensus remains that Ford’s gains were at least as healthy as Government Motors managed to finagle.

      With fewer brands (“core” and not.)

      With fewer product offerings.

      With lower incentives.

      That’s gotta hurt…

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    One thing that hasn’t been pointed out… the Crown Vic is currently outselling the Flex this year…
    Now which one will Ford be making the most money on per car? And which one are Ford going to stop making?

    WHERE’S THE LOGIC?!

    • 0 avatar

      Have you ever heard of CAFE?

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      With all of the recent re-skins of the Ford appliances, there is no way they are making any money on anything. All of those silly electronic gimmicks do cost something.

      The Panthers are the only thing keeping the lights on at FMC (that and the $5.9 billion of government money Ford took).

      Ford can put together a Panther for around $12K. They sell them–AT DISCOUNTED FLEET PRICES–for around $23K.

      Panthers make money…and the failed D3 platform/overrated trucks/and bland, boring appliances do not.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Unless you can have some sources to back it up, there is no way to tell how much Ford spends for each of the cars it builds. Police departments and taxi fleets nationwide know the demise of the Crown Vic is eminent, and they are simply snapping them up as fast as they can while they still can. The eventual transition to Taurus Police Interceptors and Transit Connect Taxis will happen, it will just take a little bit.

      The D3/D4 platforms have been around for a while, Ford has likely paid off the tooling a while ago, and with sharing so many vehicles on the same platform, the costs decrease.

    • 0 avatar
      Z72_Silvy

      Sick ’em Z71. Tell them like it is. Oh, you forgot to mention the Panther platform sucks too.

  • avatar
    Jack99

    Ok, can someone explain to me why Ford in 2010 still feels the need to do massive fleet sales and $3,000+ incentives? Hasn’t their Fusion, Focus, and 300HP/30MPG Mustang lineup been good enough for cleaning up their image? Color me crazy all you want, but even this former American auto critic has been won over by Ford! So after winning a lot of PR points from rejecting federal bailout and improving their product line, why haven’t they gone down Honda’s old rote and kept resale values high?

    • 0 avatar
      Buffs Fan

      Biggest incentives for Ford seem to be on the 2010 Super Duty and 2010 Mustang — moving them out before the new ones come in.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @Jack 99: As soon as I can find the crayon marked Crazy in my Crayola box, I’ll do it. (/humor)

      I don’t know where all of this Ford love is coming from, other than the fact that they didn’t take government loans/bankruptcy actions like GM and Chrysler did. If folks want to reward (?) FoMoCo for that, great. It’s still a semi-free country. In reality, I would very much like to see all of the D3 back in good health, as I live in MIchigan.

      What I don’t get is the love for cars that haven’t been released to wide distribution (New Focus, Fiesta, 2011 Mustang). How many times have cars been reviewed well in the media and in real life are entirely something different? I’m not purposefully dismissing these upcoming Fords, I see this with the other automotive media darlings, too (Honda, Hyundai, BMW, Toyota, Chrysler, etc.).

      But until these models are released into the wild, and used by actual consumers paying their hard earned dollars for them, what do we really know?

      The incentive wars were currently experiencing are a result of two trends. One is Toyota, attempting to buy the loyalty of a suddenly frightened general public. I think they may have opened a Pandora’s box with that move, but time will tell. Will folks one or two or three years out now start expecting ToMoCo to match the deals they’re giving now, when they can find seemingly equally reliable and satisfying products from a competitor?

      Two is the much larger unresolved issue of massive overcapacity in the automotive industry. It’s been the cause of incentives for who knows how long now, and I don’t see it abating anytime soon. We know what the continual incentives have done to the domestics. It will be interesting to see what it does to the imports, if they follow down that path.

    • 0 avatar
      MM

      An excellent review of the new Fiesta can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krrWeyJFsoY.

      Granted, it’s the UK version, but essentially the same. Love how it outdoes the Corvette while being chased thru the shopping mall.

  • avatar
    GarbageMotorsCo.

    Out of the Detroit 3, Ford is the only one I have faith will make it as a successful independent automaker in the future.

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