DEARBORN – Ford total U.S. sales grew across the portfolio in October, with cars up 2 percent, utilities rising 2 percent, Ford F-Series pickups up 8 percent and Ford Econoline and Ford Transit Connect sales gaining 19 and 22 percent, respectively.
“The month of October was a different month for the industry in that we saw unseasonably strong small-car sales, driven by record high fuel prices in the West, and a strong seasonal tail wind elevating full-size pickups,” said Erich Merkle, U.S. Sales Analyst. “Both occurred in the same month, making it somewhat of a rather interesting paradox.”
The company’s small cars, which include Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus and C-MAX, were up 54 percent year over year. Ford Focus, the all-new Ford C-MAX Hybrid and Fiesta sales totaled 25,493 vehicles in October, which was Ford’s best October small car sales month since 2001.
The Focus was up 48 percent this month, while the C-MAX Hybrid and Ford C-MAX Energi combined totaled 3,182 vehicles sold the first full month of sales.
The C-MAX Hybrid is now the best-selling hybrid utility vehicle after outselling Toyota Prius v, 3,182 units to 2,769 units, in just its first month of sales in October. C-MAX Hybrid led Ford in achieving its best October hybrid sales month ever with a total of 4,612 sales, up 142 percent over October 2011.
“Our commitment to deliver a fuel-efficient lineup of cars, utilities and trucks is winning over customers and helping grow our retail sales,” said Ken Czubay, vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “Our fuel-efficient and capable full-size pickups delivered our strongest October sales results since 2004 – an F-Series record year – and we surpassed our own expectations for the first full month of C-MAX Hybrid sales.”
Merkle noted that October record-high gas prices in the state of California, caused by a series of refinery problems, supported small car sales in the West. “The refinery issues created higher demand for small cars in the West, which Ford was fully prepared to deliver on, particularly as California is now our No. 1-selling state for Fiesta, Focus and C-MAX. This was not the case just a couple of years back.”
October Ford Escape sales increased 4 percent, with 19,832 vehicles sold. Escape is on pace for another record sales year in 2012, aiming to surpass 2011 record sales of 254,293 vehicles.
“We’re in a much better position with Escape now and I feel much more comfortable,” said Merkle. “We added a third crew to Louisville Assembly Plant in August so we’re able to raise our production volumes and get inventory to a more advantageous level and support higher sales.”
America’s best-selling vehicle, Ford F-Series, sold a total of 56,497 vehicles during the month of October. This not only represents an 8 percent increase over last year, but also the 15th-straight month of sales increases for F-Series.
Ford sold 168,456 total vehicles in October, unchanged from a year ago. Retail sales rose 2 percent compared to last year.
“I think it’s great that Ford today is able to meet customers’ demands when gas prices rise and small cars are favored, especially in California where small cars dominate the landscape,” said Merkle. “As pickup truck segmentation improves with seasonal tail winds, we’re able to meet the demands of pickup truck buyers at the same time. Today, we meet the demands of a very diverse customer base regardless of the geography, which is a much different Ford compared to just a few years back.”