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mustang84

March 2008 Sales: Ford Motor Company

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Focus up to 21K, Fusion consistent at 15K, Edge up to 13K, Escape at 18K...most of the hurt was the F-series, E-series, Expedition, Crown Vic, and Mustang. Sable and Taurus up slightly.

FORD’S FOCUS AND EDGE BUCK TURBULENT ECONOMY

* Ford Focus March retail sales climbed 36 percent compared with a year ago.

* Ford Edge retail sales up 35 percent as consumer demand accelerates in California and other coastal regions.

* Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales totaled 213,074, down 14 percent.

* Total Ford Motor Company sales (including Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo) totaled 227,143, down 14 percent.

Download Sales Results in Adobe PDF

DEARBORN, Mich., April 1, 2008 – Sales for Ford’s redesigned small car and acclaimed crossover utility continued to buck economic trends during March.

Retail sales for the Ford Focus were the highest for any month since August 2005 – with retail sales up 36 percent in March and 35 percent in the first quarter compared with the same periods a year ago.

The new Focus has helped Ford increase its share in the growing small car market and is attracting younger buyers. Compared with the previous model, buyers are equipping the Focus with more features, like SYNC, Ford’s exclusive, in-car connectivity technology that fully integrates most Bluetooth-enabled cell phones and MP3 players by voice activation.

Edge retail sales were up 35 percent in March and 52 percent in the first quarter, thanks in part to stronger sales on the coasts. The California region accounted for more than 10 percent of Edge sales in the first quarter of 2008, versus 7 percent in the first quarter 2007. First quarter retail sales on the west coast and Northeast more than doubled compared with a year ago.

This signals the growing appeal of the country’s best-selling crossover in 2007. During the first quarter of 2007, Edge’s introduction quarter, more than one-third of Edge retail sales came from the Great Lakes area. During the same period in 2008, this region drove only one-fourth of Edge sales.

“This reflects how much customers who haven’t traditionally even considered our products are starting to warm up to Ford and is just an indication of more to come,” said Jim Farley, Ford group vice president, Marketing and Communications. “We’re optimistic the new Ford Flex and Lincoln MKS will help increase consumers’ consideration for our brands beyond our traditional geographic regions of strength.”

In March, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales totaled 213,074, down 14 percent compared with a year ago. Sales to individual retail customers were 17 percent lower than a year ago, with essentially the entire decline concentrated among truck and sport utility vehicles. Sales to daily rental companies were down 13 percent versus a year ago, and total fleet sales, including daily rental, were down 9 percent.

“This is a very challenging external environment, reflecting a seismic shift in consumer preferences,” said Farley. “These conditions will likely persist in the near future. At Ford, we remain focused on executing our plan, which includes being profitable at lower volume and changed mix.

“It is crucial we continue to employ a disciplined process to gauge demand and plan production on a segment-by-segment and region-by-region basis,” said Farley.

Total Ford Motor Company sales, including Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo, totaled 227,143, down 14 percent.

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Sad to see Mustang slipping. With Camaro and Chellenger on the block the real ass-whoping on the sales room floor is about to begin.

Chris

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Sad to see Mustang slipping. With Camaro and Chellenger on the block the real ass-whoping on the sales room floor is about to begin.

Chris

Mustang is slipping because it's three years old and the economic pinch is making fun cars like the Mustang not practical purchases at the moment. 10K is still excellent for a niche car like this. Don't forget that a new Mustang will be out in 2009, too...I think it will still hold its own even with some new competition.

Edited by mustang84
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other than that, town car and econoline were the only real big drops.

again, reskin the focus + add sync + sell for really cheap prices (14-15k) instead of jacking up the prices = sales gains.

Edited by regfootball
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With high gas prices and people barely getting by, don't expect the Camaro/Challenger to do any 'whoopinmg'. Many fans want to SEE a new Camaro for sale, but they won't spend the $$.

After the 'first on blocks' get theirs, then the 'whopping' will come to them.

Anyway, yeah, it is good to see Focus kick the rears of the 'it should be C1' or 'it should look the same as the 2000' naysayers.

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i'm sure all ford wanted with the foucs reskin was a little increase. i am guessing they are quite pleased with just the reskin.

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from a poster on BON

from today's sales call:

Jim Farley

Talk about Focus and George mentioned the younger buyer. And you know from my experience it’s another example of young people buy cheap transportation not being true. The average Focus now and equipped with features like Sync, the average new Focus this year has $2,000 more transaction price than just a year ago. And we’re getting more young customers every time, every month ends. And that is a real big surprise and I think a surprise for even some people within Ford Motor Company that we’re gaining share in the most competitive segment in our industry.

And by the way the version 2 Sync is coming in the quarter so we’re not done with Sync.

..........................

The other thing that’s helping us is on incremental volume. You know Focus, we’re building every Focus we can right now. And we didn’t anticipate that incremental volume in our business cases.

..........................

Sarah Webster – Detroit Free Press

My question has to do with the Ford Focus, you mentioned that they’re selling like crazy and I wonder if you could talk a little bit about the inventory and days to turn for that vehicle? And also Jim had mentioned some regional color about the Focus in California, I guess if you could just generally give us an idea of nationwide how this vehicle is selling?

George Pipas

Okay, I don’t have days to turn exactly. All I know is that the car is selling to the point where frankly each month we have to revise upward our expectations. And as Jim mentioned earlier, we’re going as hard as we can at Wayne on the production standpoint, there’s just nothing being left on the table at Wayne Assembly. You know it becomes a little problematic in a way because with the growth that I mentioned earlier in the small cars segment and the success that this product is having in the segment, the days supply as we enter the spring selling season is going to, well, I don’t think it’s going to slow us down to the point where we see declines in the product year over year but you know we may not be able to reach the full potential here in the spring selling season. We’re just going to lean on it as much as we possibly can. Jim on a regional basis what are we seeing?

Jim Farley

Sarah, thank you for your question, a couple observations. First of all, we do see opportunity on the type of Focus’s we’re selling. We’re really working hard to catch up on the type of grades and option equipment that we’re building of the vehicles that we’re building at Wayne. So probably the biggest shift for our, other than finding a way of squeezing more out of Wayne is really what we’re building. A couple observations regionally, the really hot places where Focus has surprised us is in the Northeast and in Texas and the Southwest.

Those are the places where we’ve seen either our forecasting wasn’t right or the markets are hotter for this type of segment shift. But the Northeast were consistently 20-30% above our objectives, above what we thought, above where our share was going to be. And interesting in the Midwest, the anomaly is really the Chicago region where we continue to do very well with Focus. And then really the heart and soul of our increase or surprise has been in the Southwest region, especially in Texas which was a really strong month for us in March and frankly was up year over year, believe it or not. In total the Focus was a key product for us in the Southwest.

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