Ford Sales Up In January, But Lincoln Is Still Lagging

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Ford Motor Company sold 127,317 units last month for a 13.3% increase in volume, despite weak a performance from its Lincoln brand and a 95% drop in volume from the dead Mercury brand. Lincoln effectively has two viable products in its portfolio, the MKZ (1,574 units) and the MKX (1,546 units)… nothing else moved more than 1k units last month. And of all its products, only MKZ saw a year-over-year sales increase last month, up 17.5%. With Mercury gone (but for a few hundred Grand Marquis sales), Lincoln needs to get its act together before Ford becomes a one-brand outfit. Still, If Ford did cut back to a single brand, the Blue Oval would still be in decent shape. Ford-branded vehicle sales jumped 21 percent to 121,511 units last month. Focus fell slightly f(13.2%) to 9,014 units, but Fiesta is coming on strong with 4,270 units. Fusion saw a modest sales increase, as the midsized contender moved to 14,346 units. Taurus and Mustang fell by 23% and 33% respectively. Edge and Escape were up 42.8% and 30% respectively, and the new Explorer looks to be a hit with sales jumping 71% to 7,351. F-Series kept growing as well, with 35,806 units sold, and Transit Connect rose to above 2k monthly units while Ranger slid 31%.

ford sales up in january but lincoln is still lagging
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  • Conslaw Conslaw on Feb 01, 2011

    When I went to our auto show last month, the MKS struck me as the most disappointing model at the show. It was unattractive, overpriced, and didn't have the attention to detail of just about all its competitors. If there was an MKZ hybrid there, I didn't see it. I did see see a sleek Hyundai Sonata hybrid for 10+k less that wasn't even on sale yet.

    • NulloModo NulloModo on Feb 01, 2011

      To be fair, the Fusion Hybrid is really the competitor to the Sonata, not the MKZ, and by all reviews so far, the Sonata hybrid is a fairly lackluster offering. Regarding the MKS, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but most complaints about the vehicle seem to revolve around the FWD layout rather than overall build quality and attention to detail, which are more than class competitive. As far as pricing goes, it's priced far under similar models from BMW, Mercedes, and Audi while offering comparable levels of luxury and technology. That being said, the MKS could have been better, and Lincoln does need to do better to regain marketshare, just offering something that is similar to the competition but undercuts on price isn't going to do the trick. The key here is that the turnaround of Lincoln isn't going to happen overnight. Ford started it's turnaround in 2006 with the Fusion. For Lincoln you could look at the introduction of the Zephyr and MKX a couple years later, but I really think the MKS is the key 'were doing something new and exciting' moment. The MKS was the first new fullsize Lincoln in decades, and fullsize luxury cars are something Lincoln has always been associated with. Ford has been busy turning the ship around for the core Ford brand, but now that things are sailing in the right direction there, and that the mainstream sales are bringing in consistent profits, there is actually money and available brainshare to devote to righting the ship that is Lincoln. The MKS isn't perfect as it is ,but neither was the first gen CTS. The MKZ was an improvement over the Zephyr, the 2010 refresh was a big improvement over the first gen MKZ, and similarly the MKX improved over the Aviator, and the new 2011 MKX is ready to take on the SRX/MDX/RX/etc without having to apologize for anything. As long as each model is better than the last, there is plenty of reason for hope.

  • Z71_Silvy Z71_Silvy on Feb 02, 2011

    Wow...very disappointing results. Ford's newest appliances are not doing anything in the market. Fiesta numbers continue to be dismal (the car does not live up to the hype), the Taurus that apparently made Big Al cry is doing horribly...and continues to sell at a rate that is WORSE than the Five Hundred. The new engines in the Mustang have done NOTHING to help sales. Clearly the car is over priced. The Flex continues to prove how useless it is, the Explorer must have had a TON of 2010 blow outs moved, the Transient Connect continues to have dismal sales and Lincoln...what a joke. With sales like that, the brand needs to go. People realize that they are nothing more than half-assed re-badged Fords with a higher sticker price. Ford need to focus on getting Ford right (probably not going to happen)...Lincoln is hampering that (weak) effort

  • Johnds Years ago I pulled over a vehicle from either Manitoba or Ontario in North Dakota for speeding. The license plates and drivers license did not come up on my dispatchers computer. The only option was to call their government. Being that it was 2 am, that wasn’t possible so they were given a warning.
  • BEPLA My own theory/question on the Mark VI:Had Lincoln used the longer sedan wheelbase on the coupe - by leaning the windshield back and pushing the dashboard & steering wheel rearward a bit - not built a sedan - and engineered the car for frameless side windows (those framed windows are clunky, look cheap, and add too many vertical lines in comparison to the previous Marks) - Would the VI have remained an attractive, aspirational object of desire?
  • VoGhost Another ICEbox? Pass. Where are you going to fill your oil addiction when all the gas stations disappear for lack of demand? I want a pickup that I can actually use for a few decades.
  • Art Vandelay Best? PCH from Ventura to somewhere near Lompoc. Most Famous? Route Irish
  • GT Ross The black wheel fad cannot die soon enough for me.