DEARBORN - Ford’s U.S. retail sales were up 2 percent versus last year with Fusion, Explorer and F-Series reporting strong results.
The Fusion surpassed its best-ever July sales record.
“Last month was the best July sales performance for Fusion since its introduction, beating last year’s record by 21 percent,” said Ford’s U.S. Sales Analyst Erich Merkle. “This is Fusion’s fifth straight monthly sales record, which puts us in an excellent position for the arrival this fall of the all-new Fusion featuring EcoBoost engines, a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid.”
Explorer had its best-ever July sales result since 2006, and F-Series reported its 12 straight month of sales increases with EcoBoost-equipped F-150s making up 42 percent of retail sales in July.
Despite those gains, overall company sales were down 4 percent in July, which Merkle attributes to lower fleet sales, which were down 16 percent in July versus same time last year.
“The majority of the decline was due to a drop in daily rental fleet sales, which can be very volatile from month to month,” explained Merkle. “Our daily rentals were down 23 percent this month compared to last year but that was according to our plan. We manage that business very well and we want to keep it at a constant rate.”
Merkle says it’s important for Ford to manage the daily rental business carefully.
“If we push too many vehicles into the daily rental markets, they come back at auction and it has a profound impact on the residual value of our cars,” he said. “On the other hand, however, daily rentals do allow us to expose more people to our vehicles. Many of these folks are men and women who are traveling on business.”
Despite the recent recalls, the Ford Escape remained the fastest-turning vehicle on dealer lots in July. In fact, Edmunds reported that Escape is the second on their list for buyer consideration through their website and commented that the recent recalls have not changed the huge consumer interest in the product.
“What’s even more impressive is the fact that Escape's conquest sourcing from premium segments is up 57 percent,” said Merkle. “And 49 percent of our all-new Escapes sold are either SEL or Titanium, our two highest-level trim packages.”