DEARBORN - The Ford Escape set a new sales record. It is now the first small utility ever to sell more than 150,000 vehicles in the first half of any year.
Ford Escape is on pace to break its all-time annual sales record, set last year, of 261,008 vehicles sold. Sales through June totaled 156,626 vehicles. Escape has outsold Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 through the first half of this year.
“The Ford Escape’s great performance, standout design and outstanding fuel economy are bringing new buyers into the showroom,” said Amy Marentic, group marketing manager, global cars and crossovers. “It’s great to see Escape break new ground, which shows we are listening to customers and delivering competitive global vehicles.”
With year-over-year U.S. sales up 23 percent, Escape outpaced the industry growth rate in the small utility segment, which grew 13 percent during the same six-month period. Retail registrations of Escape on the coasts were up 33 percent, three times as much growth as the small utility segment, with new customers in key coastal markets contributing to Escape’s success.
Coastal cities experiencing top retail sales growth include Miami, 61 percent; Orlando, Fla., 41 percent; Charlotte, N.C. and Seattle, both 33 percent; Washington, D.C., 31 percent; and San Francisco, 26 percent. Escape is seeing strong growth from coast to coast, with retail sales increases of 25 percent in both Los Angeles and Boston.
In Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, Charlotte and Washington, D.C., the top competitive conquest brand is Toyota. In New York and San Francisco, the top competitive conquest is Honda.
“Coastal areas, historically dominated by Honda and Toyota, are important to overall U.S. share growth of Ford Motor Company,” said Erich Merkle, Ford sales analyst. “Honda’s share of the small utility segment is down 2 full percentage points this year, as Escape continues to conquest retail customers on the coasts.”
The highest competitive conquest rates for Escape include San Francisco, 58 percent; Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Washington, D.C., all 54 percent; Boston, 53 percent; and Charlotte, 52 percent.
With a strong lineup of cars, trucks and utilities, Ford brand sales are up 14 percent over last year, with 20 percent of this growth coming from Escape sales. Within Ford’s utility lineup, Escape accounts for 57 percent of this year’s overall sales growth.
This momentum means Louisville Assembly Plant, home of Ford Escape, produced more vehicles than any Ford plant in North America for the first six months of the year.
“Because of unprecedented demand, last year we had to add a third crew and 1,300 additional jobs for a total of approximately 4,500 people making the all-new Escape,” said Daryl Sykes, Louisville plant manager. “We have the best, brightest and most hard-working workforce right here in Louisville, and that’s why we’re the busiest plant in North America.”
Customers have responded to Escape’s improved fuel economy, sleek new design, enhanced cargo capacity and such innovative technology features as its foot-activated, hands-free liftgate.