By on September 1, 2010

Sales of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles fell 10.7 in August, as Ford’s success in last August’s Cash-For-Clunkers sales binge hurt year-over-year comparisons. And though that gives Ford a good excuse for its first year-over-year monthly sales decline since September 2009, the Blue Oval was down compared to last month as well (157,503 compared to 166,092). Mercury continued its death spiral, falling 22.5 percent, but Lincoln clawed back for a 9.4 percent bump. But things at Ford live and die by the Blue Oval brand, which was down 10.5 percent. Trucks performed best for the Ford brand, climbing 5 percent, but Utes were down 26.6% and Cars dropped 15.7 percent.

Perhaps the most significant drop came for Escape, which shed nearly 30 percent of its C4C-driven August 2009 volume, falling to 14,838 units. Ranger dropped by 46.3 percent, losing over 3,500 units of volume, and Focus fell 40 percent to 15,466 as Ford’s value-oriented offerings took a beating compared to clunker-era sales. A 4.5 percent increase in F-Series sales and a 50 percent bump in Taurus sales were the big volume gainers, as launch woes kept Fiesta at 3,315 units.

Lincoln’s gain, meanwhile, was less impressive than might be expected: only Towncar, MKT and Navigator actually increased sales, and none of them sold in four-digit volumes. Nearly 40 percent of Mercury’s volume came from Grand Marquis. But then, everyone knows that Ford’s luxury units are in trouble… the less said here the better. Speaking of which, Ford failed to release complete fleet sales numbers.

).

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

34 Comments on “Ford, Lincoln Mercury Sales Down 10.7 Percent In August...”


  • avatar
    philadlj

    I’ll miss you, Taurus X…even if few others will…

  • avatar
    thalter

    Dead brand walking Mercury still manages to outsell Lincoln. How strange is that?

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      Mercury used to move a *lot* more than Lincoln, so having a lot of aged product on the lot is what you’re seeing here. Eventually, the Mercury supply will dry up, and Lincoln will outsell Mercury simply by virtue of having product to sell at all.

  • avatar
    ninja14blue

    Rustang back to looking up at Camaro.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    F150 stayed strong. Everything else is icing.

    • 0 avatar
      asapuntz

      Did F-series sales experience much of a C4C effect last year?

      Why would the 30% (6K) Escape drop be more significant than the 40% (10K) Focus drop – better profit margin?

      Both are seriously dated and scheduled for replacement in 2011, so I’m not surprised to see their sales soften. Well, single-digit YTD growth.

  • avatar
    dkulmacz

    A 10.7% drop versus overall industry drop of 21% . . . results sound pretty good, considering.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    Everyone is hurting this month, but thankfully it looks like Ford is hurting less than others.

    The Fusion/Milan stay ahead of the Malibu despite heavy fleet sales on GM’s side. Hyundai is kicking everybody’s butt with the Sonata though.

    Mustang sales are down a bit but the retail mix is up 15%, and these are now almost all 2011 cars selling with little to no incentives.

    The Fiesta was supply limited, as was the Explorer. 2010 Explorers have been mostly snapped up and picked over, and 2011 models are still a few months out. It looks like some Explorer intenders have moved to the Expedition, and this trend may continue for those who needed the true SUVness of the Explorer with the introduction of a new high value budget friendly Expedition XL next year.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      @Nullo, does anyone actually have detailed fleet numbers for the different manufacturers? It’s easy to say Chrysler does massive fleet, Impala is fleet queen etc but unless we have some numbers we’re just making assumptions. My anecdotal evidence is that over the past 12 months I have seen a lot more Fusions on the rental car lots than Malibus — but then I have never counted, and I only have maybe 30-40 car rentals during that time.

      That said, I had my first Malibu rental in ages last week, and I have to say that it’s a very nice interior. Much nicer than the Camry, and on par with the Fusion (Fusion tends to the futuristic techno look, though, and Malibu to a more classic European look). Apart from reliability (on which I have not looked up any data), I would easily take either the Fusion or the Malibu over a Camry.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      Nobody is really hurting this month because the 2009 numbers were hugely inflated by C4C.

      The way I see it, given that both companies lost ~10% volume relative to Aug 2009, Ford didn’t do as well as GM. GM grew high-margin non-Chevy sales over 2009 by 10-15k units, whereas Ford lost 1500 higher-margin L-M sales. The numbers look like ex-Mercury buyers are buying Ford, rather than being upsold into Lincolns. This is very bad for Lincoln, and if the trend continues for any length of time, “One Ford, Only Ford” is going to be the ultimate result.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      The Fusion/Milan stay ahead of the Malibu despite heavy fleet sales on GM’s side. Hyundai is kicking everybody’s butt with the Sonata though.

      You need to get your facts right.

      The Malibu is outselling BOTH the Milan and Fusion….by a minimum of over 1K units…and it’s sales for the year are up 35%…for an old, outdated car. The Fusion is only mustering a 17% increase.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      @Silvy, I think what Nullo is saying is that the combination of Fusion and Milan is outselling the Malibu. Which is true.

      It is true, though, that the Fusion has a fresh facelift, while the Malibu is essentially unchanged since 2008 (and due for a revamp next year).

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      SVX –

      GM is certainly doing a good job with Cadillac and Buick, which is a good sign that when Ford is ready to throw some serious money at Lincoln to update the lineup and differentiate it from the Ford line, that the US buying public is ready to take American luxury brands seriously.

      Mercury buyers and Ford buyers have been essentially the same customers for a while now, I don’t think anyone at Ford really expected most of them to jump up to Lincoln.

      As far as margin goes, that is where things aren’t as clear. Incentive-wise, Ford is still spending a lot less per car than GM, so each vehicle sold is more profitable. GMAC/Ally is also buying up a lot of marginal paper lately, which I’m sure helps short term balance sheets getting ready for the IPO, but could turn ugly if those people don’t make good on the loans.

      th009 –

      Yes, I meant Fusion/Milan together. They come off of the same assembly line and are differentiated only by cosmetics, and even pricing option for option is pretty even, so they really should be counted together.

      Ford has posted the biggest YTD year over year improvement of any major full-line automaker, so they have to be doing something right. Ford has also increased market share 22 out of the past 23 months. Slow and steady wins the race.

    • 0 avatar
      jeremyb

      The Malibu and Lacrosse are both built at the Kansas City plant. With the Malibu and Lacrosse numbers combined the Fusion duo numbers aren’t as good.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Fleet sales for the Malibu have been as high as 76 percent of its total sales, so I wouldn’t crow too loudly about it beating the Fusion. It looks as though it is joining the dated Impala as a fleet queen.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      @geeber, where are the model-specific fleet percentages published?  I would very much like to see those.
       
      My own anecdotal evidence in the 30-40 daily rental over the last two years has been that I have seen a lot more Fusions on the rental car lots than Malibus.  But that’s only anecdotal, I’d like real data.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      @Nullo: incentives don’t matter, because it’s fake numbers. What matters are transaction prices. If GM inflates the Chevy Traverse price by $5k to cover an expected $4k “incentive”, they net $1k extra gain on the transaction.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      The Malibu actually outsold the Fusion by 1k units this month – though I agree, probably with heavy fleet sales given the dramatic increases it’s been posting this year without having any meaningful improvements of the 2009 model. Of course, when the Milan is added Ford is ahead in the numbers game, but not by much.

  • avatar
    obbop

    TV ads concerning the “SHO” spoken as “show.”

    Old fogies…. recall when SHO was an acronym for “super high output” or sumpthin such as that and the three letters were spoken individually?

    Ess Accchhhhhh Ooooooooo (long o)

    When did SHO become one word “show”

    Blasphemy.

    So Generation Y…. who along with Gen X and Gen Z and every other Post-Boomer generation is responsible for the ongoing economic mess and are slacking off and need to quit those time-eating computer and video games and knuckle down and get jobs and swell the rolls of those paying into Social Security.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      Huh? It’s always been a “show” Taurus or “show” Mustang versus and “essess” Camaro or Corvette.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      Yes…Ford is clueless as to how to pronounce S-H-O.

      Here is the very basic rundown that even a 2nd grader could follow.

      When using the car’s name (Taurus) you must only follow it with S-H-O.
      -IE: Ford Taurus S-H-O…or simply Taurus S-H-O. Calling it the Taurus SHOW is flat wrong.

      Now, when you don’t use “Ford Taurus” or “Taurus” as a prefix…then, calling it the SHOW is allowed.
      -IE: “Should we take the SHO(W) to dinner?” or, “What car should we take? Oh…let’s take the SHO(W).”

      It’s sad that Ford cannot get the name of their car right…

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Z71_Silvy seems to be absolutely right about the correct naming of the Taurus SHO.

      1989 Taurus SHO “Taurus S-H-O” is used.

      1990 Taurus SHO Called the “Show”, but not “Taurus Show”.

      2010 Ford Taurus SHO Called “Taurus Show”. Which has never happened in any ad for the previous generations.

      I could post other examples, but I don’t want to get eaten by the spam filter.
      ___________
      Looks like Ford F’ed up the naming for the Ecoboost SHO in its ads. It wouldn’t be too hard to fix it.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      That’s another thing…there is nothing ECO about Ecoboost………
       
      It should have remained TwinForce…as so far, all it has been utilized in is performance applications.
       
      But it still doesn’t beat a proper V8.

  • avatar
    mjz

    I don’t understand why Ford didn’t keep the Mercury Milan and Mariner around for another year until they could add that “baby” Lincoln. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Considering all the hype and premature advertising Ford did for the Fiesta, it seems off to a somewhat slow start. Dodge sold more Calibers than this! They keep claiming supply problems, but my dealer has 4 siiting on his lot (every single one in that damned lime green). Maybe the $20,000 price tag has something to do with it.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The Fiest doesn’t compete with the Caliber, so comparing sales for the two models is pointless, they are in a different class.

      The Fiesta is selling as well as the Accent or Aveo, and at a much higher transaction price than either (no Ford incentives, and at my dealer we haven’t had to discount one yet, not that there is really any roo
      to discount them anyway…). It’s not that there are none available, the first wave of shipments made it out before the hurricane and the QC shipment freeze, but some dealers still have none, and no one has a big selection yet. We have our next two Magenta colored hatchbacks and Blue sedan sold already, we just need for the cars to get here.

  • avatar
    th009

    @NulloModo,

    Does anyone actually have detailed fleet numbers for the different manufacturers? It’s easy to say Chrysler does massive fleet, Impala is fleet queen etc but unless we have some numbers we’re just making assumptions. My anecdotal evidence is that over the past 12 months I have seen a lot more Fusions on the rental car lots than Malibus — but then I have never counted, and I only have maybe 30-40 car rentals during that time.

    That said, I had my first Malibu rental in ages last week, and I have to say that it’s a very nice interior. Much nicer than the Camry, and on par with the Fusion (Fusion tends to the futuristic techno look, though, and Malibu to a more classic European look). Apart from reliability (on which I have not looked up any data), I would easily take either the Fusion or the Malibu over a Camry.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I’ll miss you, Taurus X…even if few others will…

    Ditto. Greatly underappreciated vehicle. My only qualm in a search for a gently used one is most are two-toned Bauers and SELs, which don’t float my boat.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Well….this does not look good at all for Ford.

    Running down the list:

    -Fiesta…that’s it? All the (over) hype? The long and drawn out (and failed) marketing campagin and it could only muster 3300 sales? Oops.

    -Focus…not bad at all for the cheap, ugly, throw away car that it is…but there is a lot of cash on the hood. Could be worse though…it could be a Cobalt.

    -Fusion…behind the Camry, Accord, Sonata, Maxima, and Malibu. Ouch.

    -Taurus…another over-promised and under delivering car. Sales have seemed to settle in the 5K a month area. Not good as the Five Hundred, a year after it’s introduction was selling FAR north of 10K units a month…

    -Crown Vic…All you can say is that Ford is making a mint on the Panther cars…and probably nothing else. Good to see them pulling their weight.

    -Escape/Edge…Escape is a fleet queen…but the Edge is still floundering…not good considering there is yet another Ford SUV-lite on the way.

    -Flex…Still an utter failure. Makes no sense to sell it with such dismal numbers with the Explorer coming out. 100K a year? Remember that sales goal? It’s on track to sell 37K this year. It needs to go the way of Mercury.

    -Explorer/Expedition…dismal compared to the Traverse/Tahoe and Tahoe/Suburban.

    -Transient Connect…sales are still terrible…

    -Lincoln…their best product is the ancient, uncompetitive Navigator…their WORST product is the overpriced and under-delivering rebadge of the Taurus. But what a great idea to keep Lincoln and can Mercury. Bold Moves indeed.

    Mercury…Wow…the margin heavy Grand Marquis is tearing it up…now we know what is funding all of the other Ford products.

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      “Well….this does not look good at all for Ford.” Silvy, considering how frequently you disparage Ford’s sales and financial results, you may want to ask Edward if you can personally resurrect the TTAC “Ford Death Watch” series. I think Bertel and Cammy are too smart to take the bait.

    • 0 avatar
      Loser

      Silvy,
      With all of the failures you claim Ford has they somehow turned a profit well before GM while gaining market share with less incentives than GM. All without the benefit of welching on it’s obligations. That just eats you up inside doesn’t it!

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      Road and Loser:

      Show me where I’m wrong.

      Oh…and I forgot the donkey…err…Mustang…

      Mustang…STILL being beaten by the Camaro. So much for the new boat anchors.

  • avatar
    mjz

    NulloModo:

    Your point about the Caliber vs. Fiesta is valid in that they are different size classes “C” vs. “B”. But in terms of MSRP, they seem quite competitive. Most of the Fiesta’s I have seen have stickered for $19-20,000. Most of the Calibers $18-19,000. Both are 5 door hatches (with Fiesta offering sedan option). The point I was trying to make is that the much maligned Caliber, which is considered to be a such a sales dud, outsold the much ballyhooed new Fiesta.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Matt Posky: It does when they fall under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and there are tons of...
  • Rick T.: Does anybody know of any studies that show the raw materials, manufacturing facilities, and electricity are...
  • eggsalad: Another *brilliant Constitutional scholar* who has no idea what the Constitution actually says. All that 1A...
  • Secret Hi5: “ All I know is that our comment section is going nowhere…” Figuratively, literally, or both?
  • Tim Healey: It’s not a First Amendment issue when it involves a private company. No outlet is obligated under...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber