By on May 3, 2010

Ford continued its momentum in April, if perhaps not at quite the blistering pace as in the past few months. In a clear indication of how the market is returning to a more pre-recession composition, car sales were up only 10%, while utilities jumped 33% and trucks 38%. The F-Series had a very strong month, topping 40k units with a 42% rise. Ford also increased its ratio of retail to fleet sales, with retail sales up 32% and fleet a more modest 13%. Ford is also crowing about resale values being up 23% versus last year. In terms of brands, Ford was up 26%, Mercury 19%, and Lincoln 22%. Not exactly a knock-out month, but another strong showing. Details follow:

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30 Comments on “Ford Up 25% In April; Up 33% YTD...”


  • avatar
    John Horner

    The Taurus is showing a few signs of life. It single handedly outsold the entire Volvo lineup by 36%! No wonder Ford is ditching Volvo, strategic concerns or not.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      But the Taurus sold more last month and was outsold by the Impala….of all vehicles. Not good.

      ———————-

      Actually, Ford’s numbers are not that pretty. The Flex had a good month…for the Flex…but compared to the Lambda’s from GM…the Flex was a dud (yet again). Hell, the Enclave alone outsold it….as did the Explorer. Why is Ford making the Explorer into a Flex for 2011 again? The Focus just barely outsold the Cobalt, the Taurus was murdered by the Impala, the Lincoln rebadge of the Taurus was down again, the Lincoln rebadge of the Flex sold horribly, the Accord and Camry murdered the Fusion (so much for Ford picking up sales from Toyota…), and the Sonata nearly outsold it as well. Rightfully so, the Camaro blasted the Rustang out of the water, the ONLY Lincoln vehicles that saw an increase in sales were the ones with real names, and the Grand Marquis was Mercury’s best selling model.

      Which brings us to an important point…for the most part…the only vehicles that did well at Ford are ones that Ford is killing. The new appliances are struggling.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      Somehow I don’t think the fleet-queen Impala outselling the Taurus is something for a GM fan to brag about. Same goes for the Cobalt/Focus comparo.

    • 0 avatar
      Runfromcheney

      @Z71 Silvy:

      Now, I should point out that the majority of Tauruses go to people, while the majority of Impalas go to fleets. Big difference there, buddy.

      GM may sell twice as many Impalas a month, but it isn’t really an achievement if they lose money or just break even on every one sold.

    • 0 avatar

      The new Taurus is just as much a fleet queen as the Impala. There will be a new Impala coming shortly too.

    • 0 avatar

      @TriShield — What figures do you have to indicate the Taurus is as much a “fleet queen” as you imply?

      You may also want to tell Gov’t Motors about that new Impala that’s just around the corner, too. They may be surprised to hear about it. (Last I’ve seen is not to expect one until 2013 at the earliest?)

    • 0 avatar
      Loser

      @ Z71,

      Other than the Mustang I don’t care for much Ford makes but that doesn’t make me blind to how well Ford is doing. Your desperate attempts to make Ford look bad only make you look silly. At least Ford’s turning a profit without the benefit of bankruptcy. Profitability is what matters in the end. How’s GM doing on that front?

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The only thing the Lambdas outselling the Flex proves is that people still value a tall SUV look over ride comfort, interior quality, and electronic features. When the new Explorer debutes the Lambdas will have a real challenger.

      No one buys Impalas new retail, or at least very few people, these are deep discount fleet cars, compared to the Taurus which has very very low fleet sales, and whose rental sales are limited to the SE model to prevent depreciation of the rest of the line.

      The Camaro better enjoy the lead while it can, 2011 Mustangs are starting to trickle onto lots, once production is ramped up and inventory is available, say two or three months, the Camaro will be back to second place pony.

    • 0 avatar
      drivebywire

      huh?
      A Taurus is a Volvo S80.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      “Now, I should point out that the majority of Tauruses go to people, while the majority of Impalas go to fleets. Big difference there, buddy.”

      Proof? And real proof…not lies from the Ford PR Spin Machine.

      ———————-

      “The only thing the Lambdas outselling the Flex proves is that people still value a tall SUV look over ride comfort, interior quality, and electronic features. When the new Explorer debutes the Lambdas will have a real challenger.”

      Spoken like a true sales person. The Lambdas are just as good as the Flex in terms of quality….but they can haul more people and tow more with less power. And everyone knows that the 2011 Explorer is a pointless vehicle…Ford is only developing it so they have something to put the Explorer name on. The ONLY way the “new” Explorer will make sense is if Ford actually does something right and kills the under-performing Flex. Otherwise, it’s just a shameful rebadge (like Lincoln) to boost sales of the failed D3 platform. Even with the new Explorer appliance, the Traverse alone will outsell all of the D3 SUVs (Flex, Explorer, Lincoln Flex)…in fact, the Traverse sold over 9K units last month…the Flex didn’t move half that.

      Maybe people realize they can get a much more capable Tahoe…with a proper 4WD system and a proper V8…and still get virtually the same mileage as the Flex with the silly Ego boost engine.

    • 0 avatar
      newcarscostalot

      Z71_Silvy, keep in mind that GM, Chrysler and Toyota to name a few re-badge vehicles to satisfy the tastes of consumers. For example, the Chevy Traverse, (former) Saturn Outlook and Buick Enclave are all based on the same platform with similar equipment and almost, if not exact, power train. Also, considering GM and their current situation, why do you feel so strongly positive about them and so negative in regards to Ford? In fact, Ford and GM co-developed a transmission for their respective vehicles. If you don’t care for Ford products based on perceived lack of quality due to inferior construction methods and inferior parts, the aforementioned statement about the trans. might put you concerns to rest.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The Lambdas vary in interior quality, the Enclave is pretty nice, and on par with the Flex I’d say, the Traverse is definitely a step or two down.

      As far as towing more, its a question of frame, not power. 4500 lbs is more than enough for most people looking for a crossover, so it isn’t as if the Flex is wanting in towing power. While the Lambdas can technically carry more people, they are noticeably more cramped than the Flex just with six or seven, trying to cram 8 people into one is a recipe for misery, while seven can ride in the Flex in limo-like comfort.

      The 2011 Explorer has a very important mission – to bring in sales from all of the people who can’t seem to get it through their thick heads that a taller vehicle isn’t better just because it is taller. The Flex and MKT are great, and the MKT has already helped sales for the platform by not looking like a box, but it is fairly pricey, and still has a faintly station-wagon look, and for whatever reason, American buyers don’t tend to like things that look like station wagons. They should, as wagons make a lot more sense than most crossovers or SUVs, but the great unwashed masses also voted Bush into office twice and steadfastly argue against safe clean nuclear power despite the evidence of the hazards of fossil fuels that we have seen from the recent death of the coal miners and the gulf oil spill.

      The Flex is an aspirational vehicle, a great family or road trip car that could help us all be better by accepting it, but it is being hampered by small minded people who can’t quite grasp the fact that there is nothing wrong with a station wagon.

      The new Explorer is a bone to all of theme – all of the benefits of the Flex, but jacked up a foot or so, so you can continue your poseur lifestyle.

      As for the Ecoboost vs the Tahoe – 15% greater fuel efficiency in the city, 10% greater efficiency on the highway, more horsepower, more torque, more front and rear headroom, tons more second and third row legroom, and more cargo capacity with all of the seats up, sounds like the Flex has a clean sweep there.

    • 0 avatar
      newcarscostalot

      NullModo:

      I have the strange feeling I am one of those unwashed masses, but I for one would love to own a traditional wagon. Regardless of the all the flak that The first gen Taurus/Sable has received, you can load a whole bunch of stuff into the cargo area. I like mid-size wagons for just that feature. It’s like having a giant trunk! Plus, the Taurus wagon was far easier to park than a large SUV, pick up, or even a mini van to some degree. I like mini vans too. Man, I must be getting old! Really though, mini vans are neat. Want to haul a lot of people or cargo? Done. Want a Cadillac like ride with a bunch of goodies? Done. They usally have good gas mileage and I think would be better for most folks instead of an SUV. For example, the Dodge and Chrysler mini vans have TV stations for the kids and seats that flip around with a table in between. I think that utility trumps an SUV in most cases.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      The 2011 Explorer has a very important mission – to bring in sales from all of the people who can’t seem to get it through their thick heads that a taller vehicle isn’t better just because it is taller. The Flex and MKT are great, and the MKT has already helped sales for the platform by not looking like a box, but it is fairly pricey, and still has a faintly station-wagon look, and for whatever reason, American buyers don’t tend to like things that look like station wagons.

      Wow you have drank a lot of Kool-Aid.

      You, and more importantly Ford cannot make the business case for the Explorer. It’s more pointless than the Flex. And the only reason Ford is developing it is to have something to put the Explorer name on. That is the sole purpose of the appliance. And the MKT has been a huge flop just like the Flex…having YET to sell more than 1K a month. And it’s design has been universally panned for the horrid front end (that has been copy and pasted onto all Lincolns) to the terribly designed rear. The Flex and MKT need to go away…they are terrible vehicles that do not sell. Ford SAID the Flex would move 100K units a year…it hasn’t moved 100K units SINCE IT WENT ON SALE!

      As for the Ecoboost vs the Tahoe – 15% greater fuel efficiency in the city, 10% greater efficiency on the highway, more horsepower, more torque,

      WRONG!

      First off…Ford lied when they said Egoboost would render 20% better fuel economy…and that it would carry a $700.00 premium and that premium would be paid off in two years.

      Second:
      Tahoe 4WD – 15 City and 21 Highway.
      Flex Egoboost AWD – 16 City and 22 Highway.

      That means that the mediocre Egoboost appliance gets 6.25% better fuel economy in the city and 4.55% better on the highway. A FAR cry from 15-20% like you and Ford falsely claim.

      Plus, the Tahoe has a nicer interior, MUCH higher tow rating, has a proper 4WD system and a proper V8 engine, it is not useless off road, much more room inside for cargo, MANY more people, the Tahoe has better front shoulder, front leg, front hip, 2nd row shoulder, 2nd row hip, 3rd row shoulder, and 3rd row hip room…the rest of the dimensions the Flex wins by less than 1″, total cargo capacity is 108.9 for the Tahoe and only 83.2 for the Flex (the Taurus X had more…), etc,

      So, in conclusion…the Tahoe is a better looking, more capable vehicle with a proper 4WD system and a proper V8 and gets virtually the same mileage…only 1MPG short of the mediocre Flex in city and highway mileage.

    • 0 avatar

      Gee, Z71 Silvy. Hard to believe you’d like a poseur 4×4, because you obviously don’t have a chip on your shoulder…

      Oh wait. That’s exactly what I’d expect.

      All in fun.

    • 0 avatar
      newcarscostalot

      Z71_Silvy:

      Ford markets EcoBoost, a direct injection, turbo charged V6. GM markets EcoTec, a direct injection, turbo charged I4. What is the difference, other than Ford’s more successful marketing campaign? Also, what is the difference between Ford’s badge engineering and GM’s badge engineering? My point is, can you explain why your arguments against Ford do not also apply to GM?

  • avatar

    The Camaro once again decimated the Mustang in monthly sales.

  • avatar
    rmwill

    Nobody in their right mind would buy a 2010 Mustang when the 2011 with new powertrains is about to hit showrooms. Check back in 3 months.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    The unloved and unmarketed Ranger is still outselling both the Mustang and the Flex. (Granted, the Mustang is being replaced, but they are running advertised incentives on the 2010 models.) At 6166 units, the Taurus may be showing signs of life, but that’s still got to be a disappointment considering the resources spent on launching the redesigned model. that’s only a handful more than Chrysler sold of the Dodge Avenger.

  • avatar
    SV

    A pretty solid showing overall, and really Ford did stronger this month than is immediately apparent, since retail increases far outstripped fleet growth (in fact fleet’s low growth numbers drag the overall April increase down quite a bit)

    The Fusion and Focus are both doing solidly if not spectacularly, but the Taurus’ performance is rather impressive. It seems to be on pace to sell 60-70k units in 2010, not bad for a full-sizer (Taurus outsold Avalon by nearly a factor of 3 and the Maxima by 50% this month as well).

    Mustang sales aren’t good, but the only reason for a 33% drop is that people are holding out for the 2011 model. When the upgrades hit I’d expect Mustang sales to spike dramatically, maybe even eclipsing the Camaro.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    Look how many folks are taking their last chance to pick up a Town Car before it rides off into the sunset.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      I predicted here, uh, er, during one of our periodic debates on the merits of the Panther, (yes, that was it), that STAP will be humming along nicely for the next year or so.

  • avatar
    ajla

    @NulloModo:
    The only thing the Lambdas outselling the Flex proves is that people still value a tall SUV look over ride comfort, interior quality, and electronic features.

    One would think that Ford could take one look at the way the Escape lights up the sales chart every month (against very stiff competition), and make the connection that SUV styling is the way to go.

    Who is the person at Ford that keeps pushing these wagon/minivan-looking large CUVs?

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The Escape sells well for more than the styling – it drives effortlessly, has good visibility, competitive power from both the 4 cylinder and V6, a good amount of space, good gas mileage, and a low price for the equipment it comes with. Overall, the Escape is a great crossover for someone who wants a car to get around and occasionally move stuff but for whom driving dynamics aren’t of major importance.

      The Edge, whose styling is rather un-SUV like also sells well, just not as well as the Escape as the asking price for similar equipment is amount $5,000 more, which, in payment terms is around $100, so, a lot. Compare the Edge against the Pilot, Highlander, Murano, or Venza, and you will see it holds its own.

      The Flex should sell a lot more than it does, the styling is just too polarizing. The problem with polarizing styling on a family vehicle is that when you have a husband and wife team buying together (and you often do for family haulers) if just one of them is turned off by it, it becomes a veto for both.

      The new Explorer will bring SUV-like styling to the very strong D4 platform, and if it rides and has interior refinement anywhere close to the Flex, will be a runaway success.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The Escape is certainly not without its charms, but the same could be said about GM’s Lambda crossovers. In the case of either, I believe the exterior styling is what gives them the big sales edge.

      However, my point wasn’t to question the merits of the Escape, but to point out that Ford has fielded three sales duds in the large CUV segment even though all three were very good vehicles.

      The Freestyle and Taurus X were knocked for looking too dull (or like a station wagon), while the Flex looks like a minivan (or a hearse).

      Why did it take Ford 6 years to finally go with the “Escape but bigger” styling?

  • avatar
    ajla

    The Escape is certainly not without its charms, but the same could be said about GM’s Lambda crossovers. In the case of either, I believe the exterior styling is what gives them the big sales edge.

    However, my point wasn’t to question the merits of the Escape, but to point out that Ford has fielded three sales duds in the large CUV segment even though all three were very good vehicles.

    The Freestyle and Taurus X were knocked for looking too dull (or like a station wagon), while the Flex looks like a minivan (or a hearse).

    Why did it take Ford 6 years to finally go with the “Escape but bigger” styling?

  • avatar
    cpmanx

    In the case of the Freestyle/Taurus X the answer is the thing that strikes fear into the hearts of stylists everywhere: focus-group testing. IIRC the original Freestyle look was much harder edged but the all-knowing focus group members favored a more streamlined, carlike appearance. We all know how well that one worked out.

    With the Flex the opposite effect was in place. The Fairlane concept was reasonably well received on the auto show circuit and J Mays apparently convinced the bean counters to make a bet on distinctive styling that would set the Flex apart from the rest of the CUV crowd. Personally I’m a fan of the resulting modern-retro look, but most of the market seems to disagree with me.

    Back to the sales numbers: The big worry is that the Crown Vic and Town Car are still doing a lot of heavy lifting. The good news is that the Fiesta will probably add about 4000-5000 units/month, the new Focus should at least modestly beat the current car’s numbers, the new Explorer should substantially beat the current car’s numbers, the Grand C-Max should do at least 2000-3000 units/month, and of course the revamped Mustang is sure to reverse some of the current sales slump. Collectively, it’s easy to project about 10,000-15,000 units/month of new structural volume on top of what Ford is doing now.

    Next up, though, Lincoln needs some serious attention. There is just not enough engineering differentiation or brand identity to set it off from Ford and build some luxury clout.

  • avatar

    Totally unscientific report here, but in the last week I’ve seen no fewer than nine different new Tauruses plying the streets around Albuquerque. I don’t recall seeing nearly that many in the months since the model was released. Good to see, as are the number of new Fusions out there.

    All but one Taurus looked to be either an SE or Limited. I don’t think these were fleet, either — no RAC barcodes on the back glass, and all had NM plates or in-transit tags. The one SHO really stood out.

    Conversely, I’ve also noticed a ton of new Impalas and Sebrings… alas, all with government plates. Hey, nothing says “soul-crushing bureaucratic tedium” better than a Gov’t Motors Special.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Loving the Taurus SHO looks. Don’t need the performance though. Give me the looks and 30+ mpg. Don’t need to race anybody. Yes I know it is a sweet engine. So is the ‘Vette we have in the family and the Z-28 convertible with the LT1 but I’m not willing to buy gasoline for them or give up the ability to travel with my family plus dog and our stuff.

      Surely wish the Taurus came as a wagon b/c I need/want the utility and don’t want a Ford SUV. The Freestyle/Flex/Escape trio are okay but I’m not drawn to them enough to drop the coin. Oh – and I need a stick. No slushboxes please.

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