DEARBORN - F-Series hit a high note in February, marking the best February U.S. sales since 2006.
“F-Series had a great month,” said Ford U.S. Sales Analyst Erich Merkle. “Sales were up 3 percent from last year with almost 56,000 vehicles sold, a very solid number for America’s best-selling truck.”
Despite the strength of F-Series, however, Ford’s U.S. retail sales were down 4 percent compared to the same month last year.
“We had a tough year-over-year comparison with 2013 because last February was our highest retail share month for all of 2013 at 14.2 percent,” said Merkle. “Our retail market share for February of this year was 13.3 percent.”
Merkle said last year’s strong sales were due in large part to strong consumer demand at the time for the Ford Fusion and Escape and the success of the new hybrids.
“The vehicles are still successful, but the year-over-year comparisons are no cake walk,” said Merkle. “There is also a tremendous amount of competitive pressures in both the car and small utility segments, which is further compounded by strong price pressures in both the small and mid-size car segments.
The February, 2014, sales figures were also affected adversely by an unexpected drop in fleet sales.
“As we moved into February we had to delay approximately 10,000 of our February fleet orders into March due to sporadic parts disruptions early in the month, caused by inclement weather conditions,” explained Merkle. “We should, however, be able to get this situation back on track in March.”
While Ford will launch a record number of vehicles this year – including the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang and the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 – Merkle said the company will likely not realize the benefit of those vehicle sales until next year.
“We expect to have a solid year in 2014. We need to focus on the new product launches that we have coming but realize at the same time that they’re not going to help us this year. They’re going to help us next year,” he said. “It’s the same sort of situation we had when we had product launches in 2012 that boosted our sales in 2013.”