DEARBORN - Ford’s balanced portfolio of vehicles pushed the company’s U.S. sales figures to new heights in October, despite the uncertainty posed by the government shutdown.
“We had gains coming in from all of our vehicle segments,” said Ford U.S. Sales Analyst Erich Merkle. “Cars were up 19 percent over last year. Utilities were up 9 percent, and trucks were up 14 percent.”
The company’s newest product led the sales surge, according to Merkle.
“When you look at vehicles like the Escape and particularly the Fusion they helped us achieve a really great October retail sales month – our best October retail sales month since 2004,” he said.
Fusion sales jumped 71 percent versus last year, making it the car’s best-ever sales performance for October.
“We have a good inventory position for Fusion now and that’s really showing in the sales numbers, particular when we look at the coasts,” said Merkle.
Escape sales increased 12 percent over last year.
“The book is still being written on the small utility vehicle trend story. This is a long-term trend that has been in place since about 2004 and it continues to unfold,” said Merkle. “We’ve had some really solid performance with the Escape. Retail sales of the Escape were up 30 percent, so it was a significant driver behind our retail sales numbers in the month of October.”
The Escape has been performing very well on the West Coast, and Merkle says the company is watching sales of its popular SUV in New York very closely.
“The New York tri-state area represents the largest utility market in the country – over 10 percent of all utility vehicles sold in America today,” explained Merkle. “Escape’s retail sales performance in the New York market area is up 86 percent for October, representing record retail sales for the month. We are attracting new customers to our brand with Escape and our largest competitive conquest in the New York area is the Honda CR-V.”
F-Series also contributed strongly to October sales.
“F-Series trucks continue to roll off dealer lots with sales up 13 percent over last year,” said Merkle. “This represents our sixth consecutive month above 60,000 sales and our 27th straight month of year-over-year gains. It really speaks volumes to just how competitive that truck still is today and how loyal the Ford buyer is in that segment.”
Despite the government shutdown, Ford performed very well in October, said Merkle.
“We saw some weakness in the first half of the month, but we had a very solid close to the month,” he said. “This gives me some real confidence as we come into November and December and close out of the year.”