By on February 1, 2011

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%.

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19 Comments on “Ford Sales Up In January, But Lincoln Is Still Lagging...”


  • avatar
    philadlj

    Nothing breaking 2k units in Lincoln…yeesh.

  • avatar
    redliner

    Why oh why can’t US luxury companies compete with the Big boys? With heavily optioned Fords reaching into the 40k range, Lincoln should have no problem moving into the 35-95k range. But of course, to do that, they would need to have a few exclusive platforms and engines, and we all know thats not happening.

  • avatar
    mtr2car1

    I just can’t get my head around why the Taurus underperforms compared to the Impala.  Even if you assume that 80% is fleet and 0% of the Ford goes to fleet, it still gets spanked every month.
    The value seems good and it’s certainly more modern…
    For Ford/Lincoln, right now it’s all about covering the sales from Mercury until the new stuff arrives.  Lincoln picked up more than it’s fair share of Milan sales and Fusion covered the rest, Explorer and Escape more than covered Mariner and Mountaineer, only Grand Marquis sales didn’t seem to be covered by anything.
    Lincoln’s drop is not unexpected based on their recent trend, the exception being the new MKX – which is not picking up like the new Edge.
     

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      Well, early adopters are only a certain percentage of the population.  Most car buyers go for safe, and familiar, which helps explain some of the success of the Impala and most of the success of the Camry. 

      As far as the Taurus is concerned, let’s compare.  The Impala can be picked up for a song*, feels airy and spacious (unless you’re a full grown male in the backseat), and has neutral styling.  The Taurus is none of those things.

      *Less to the point, if someone could figure out how many Impalas are sold as lease buybacks, it would be a mind-boggling number.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      A big reason is interior room. The Taurus does not seem that much roomier than the Fusion (the narrow windows and high console in the Taurus make it seem claustrophobic; these problems are not present in the Fusion). Even if the Taurus is roomier based on measurements, the Fusion FEELS roomier. The Fusion is cheaper, too…so why not go with the Fusion? (Styling, of course, is subjective, but I find the Fusion to be much more attractive than the Taurus.)

      I’ve looked at both the Fusion and the Taurus, and the only reason I’d buy the latter is because of the SHO version, which is out of my price range.

      With the Impala, the reverse is true. It feels roomier than the Malibu. Many old-school GM customers probably choose the Impala for that reason alone.

  • avatar
    NN

    Impala is very cheap.  Taurus is very expensive.

  • avatar
    G. Lewko

    I’m finding it hilarious how the MKS still can’t quite escape the shadow of the Town Car it was looking to replace. What good is your replacement full size flagship if it barely outsells your Panther platform relic year after year?

  • avatar
    areaman

    It’s a shame that the previous Five-Hundred/Taurus wasn’t more of a success because it *did* have a great airy feeling and an absolute ton of space.  A frequent rental of ours for long highway trips when we wanted more power/space/kit than my leased Cobalt on bald tires.
    The first impression of the new model when we checked it out was that they stripped everything good out of the prior model in hopes of fighting the 300 and the Impala at the same time, and instead are beating neither at anything.

  • avatar
    HoldenSSVSE

    Holy winter time car sales Batman!  Over at GM Corvette and Camaro have similar sales declines as the Mustang.  Can you say wind and snow at 10 below for much of the nation?  I know you can!

    But, a bit surprised to see such a steep decline in the Mustang where the January 2010 sales number is when people knew the 2011 was coming and was waiting things out. Ya I know, people don’t buy RWD sleds in the winter (I just wrote that) but I would have guessed the January 2010 number would have been an easy hurdle to jump.

    Edge and Explorer sales are impressive, along with the F-150.  Looks like the Fiesta has settled in to a disappointing sales number month over month, but $5 gasoline could be a cure for that (it is selling well in my opinion, just not at expecations of others or Ford).  I didn’t know Taurus sales were so weak.

    Overall Ford’s sales mix does not look well equipped to take a spike to $5 gasoline. Chaffe out the fleet queen Crown Vic from the Ford car sales numbers and Toyota may have sold more Camry’s than all Ford car sales combined. If consumers flee truck and crossover sales – yikes!

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I wouldn’t call the Fiesta’s numbers disappointing.  The numbers are improving month on month, and the average transaction price of a Fiesta is still a lot higher than your average Aveo or Versa, so Ford is making money on each car.
       
      The Fiesta’s biggest competitor now is the outgoing ’11 Focus.  With all of the cash on the hood of the current Focus you can actually buy a Focus for less than a Fiesta in a lot of cases – and for those who value size over the newest tech or style, the choice is to go with the bigger Focus for the same or less money.  When the new ’12 Focus arrives with higher prices, the Fiesta will find more buyers.
       
      The new Explorer is a huge success.  We can’t keep them on the lot, and every other dealer is clammoring for more inventory at the same time.  Aside from a couple family plan sales we haven’t sold a single Explorer for less than sticker yet, and they are staying on the lot on average about two days before they are sold.

    • 0 avatar
      neevers1

      Quick question that will show my ignorance, but if you ordered a 2011 mustang in January 2010, would that count as a “sale” in January 2010, or when the car arrived?

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Neevers  –
      From what I can tell Ford reports sales based on when the dealer reports them sold.  On an ordered car it would likely not be reported sold until the customer actually picked up the car, so, the sale of an ordered Mustang would fall under whatever month the Mustang actually arrived.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Even though I have a rebadged Escape, a.k.a. the Mazda Tribute, in the driveway and I’m happy with it,  I wonder who is buying all those Escapes.  The platform is from a decade ago.  Granted there have been engine and transmission changes from the early years, but next to RAV4 or CR-V the Escape looks really dated.

  • avatar
    Mr. Spacely

    Escape is to other CUVs what Impala is to other full-size sedans.  It’s dependable, great visibility, and affordable. Also, for a sizable segment of the buyers it has the best looks.
    It’s interesting that for all the buzz around Ford’s new offerings since 2008, only the Fusion and Mustang (arguable) are true sales successes. There other big sellers have been the Focus and Escape — refreshed, utilitarian products with no “kinetic” pizazz.
    Still, ChryCo has to be jealous of Ford’s success in moving stale products (Focus, Escape) while they’ve struggled to keep 300s, Sebrings, and Chargers moving off lots.
     

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      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.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    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

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