Behind the Numbers with Erich Merkle: June 2018

The industry shift from cars to SUVs and trucks is really playing well into our strengths as a company. The month of June illustrates this very well.  Our SUV sales were up 8.9 percent and our truck and van sales were up 3.2 percent.  Ford is the largest seller of SUVs and trucks in America, and we had an incredible first half of the year with nearly 1 million vehicles sold – 972,555 to be exact.  

We marked a new June sales record for our Ford brand SUVs with 77,453 vehicles sold.  Leading the surge were the largest and smallest SUVs in our lineup.  The all-new Expedition has been performing very well for us since its launch.  Expedition retail sales were up 21 percent in June and up just over 37 percent through the first half of the year.  The EcoSport is also providing a nice lift for our overall SUV sales, with 6,756 of the mini-SUVs sold in June. This was our best monthly sales performance since EcoSport’s launch at the beginning of the year. June’s number was 23 percent higher than EcoSport’s May sales results.  Escape also did its part in June posting a sales gain of 6.4 percent. I personally cannot wait to get the all-new Escape and Explorer to dealer showrooms next year.   

F-Series continues its streak.  We sold 79,204 pickup trucks in June, marking our 14th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.  Recently, we have been consistently selling close to or above 80,000 pickups trucks a month – a total of 451,138 vehicles in the first half.  That’s a 5 percent sales gain over the same time period last year and a 4 percent increase compared to the first half of 2004.  What’s significant about 2004 you ask? Some of you might remember 2004 was an all-time record year for F-Series sales, with 939,511 pickups sold. Through the first half of this year, F-Series is running 4 percent ahead of first-half 2004 results. The second half of 2004 was a barn burner for sure, so hitting that level will certainly be a challenge. Come on Seabiscuit!     

June sales of the world’s best-selling cargo van, the Ford Transit, were up 25 percent over last year with 13,533 vehicles sold.  Transit is really helping us strengthen our position in the commercial van market. Overall Ford van sales for the month – including Transit, E-Series and Transit Connect – totaled over 20,000 vehicles.

Now that we’re well into the summer season we’re seeing great numbers for America’s best-selling sports car, the Mustang, with sales up 20 percent in June.  What’s so unique about Mustang is that it attracts people from all demographics.  It’s the best-selling sports car with men, women, young and old.  And it’s because we offer a variety of models.  Younger customers like the EcoBoost, which represents about 45 percent of Mustang retail sales.  And we have the traditional 5-liter V8 Mustang for the older pony car purists.

The industry is really healthy.  Industry sales are consistent with a year ago, and we’re seeing very disciplined incentive spending across all manufacturers. Companies aren’t buying sales – a good sign!  The first half of the year was strong for Ford.  We gained good momentum with our SUVs and trucks, and I’m really looking forward to the second half of the year when we’ll have more capacity to meet the growing demand for popular vehicles like the Expedition. 

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