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Typically one the best volume months for the US market, March is seen as one of the keystone months for automakers to report sales. Ford reported today a nearly 6-% increase over March 2012. Ford brand sales were up 6.9%, but continued low availability of the MkZ hurt Lincoln sales for another month as sales fell 22.5-%.

March 2013 turned out to be a great month for the all-new Fusion and Escape, both of which hit all time sales records. This marks the first time the Fusion has seen sales above the 30,000 units mark. Elsewhere in the Ford brand, the Explorer recorded sales of 18,599 units. That is a record for the Explorer since the new model debuted.

Ford truck sales increased 6.0-% overall. Leading the way was of course the F-Series, which recorded a rise of 16.3-% for over 67,500 units. Ford notes the full-size truck market is up as a whole indicating an improving economy. Transit Connect also saw a sales gain of 22.9-%.

Due to the late widespread availability of the Lincoln MkZ in March, the brand's sales once again fell 22.5-%. We should note that all of Lincoln's models fell with it.


Now the part I like.... the sales tables from the link:

* Best sales month EVER for Fusion, over 30,000 units. That's enormous. Once the Flat Rock plant starts pumping out Fusions, the vehicle may give the Accord and Camry a run for the money for top car sales in the US.

* Best sales month EVER for Escape, nearly 29,000 units. That gives the Honda CRV a run for sales leadership in the US. Up almost 28%.

* Explorer up 33%, the best month ever with the current CUV (non-truck) model. Leading the class in the US.

* Despite GM bragging about how their new pick-ups are so much better than Ford....... F-series sales are up 16%, the best sales since early 2007.

* Focus down 12%. Not sure why, but the increase in C-Max sales pretty much zeros it out. Other car sales were "meh".

* Police sales (car and CUV) about 2,000 units. It's hard to evaluate that without seeing how the industry is doing overall, but it doesn't seem terribly robust given that sales prior to the financial crisis were around 100k. Of course, not as many cruisers are being bought these days as governments tighten the belts around those doughnut inflated waists.

* Lincoln. They stunk. Not much to add. MKS sales down 45%, MKZ sales down 20% despite somewhat improved availability. We'll need to see April sales for some insight there since inventory should be adequate for the month. Lincoln utility sales (MKX, MKT, Navigator) down 12%. If MKZ sales pop in April due to the increased inventory, it'll probably help sales of the other brands as well.... but overall, the product line continues to limp along.

Overall, some great gains.... some shaky performance.... and some stink.

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Lots of good airtime on NBC news tonight stressing the improved sales and showing off the fleet. GM got a little video time, but it was mostly Ford, with the reporter even standing with the Blue Oval dealer sign prominent in the background.

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Good looking sales. I was shocked at the monthly rise for other makes as well. But looking at the prices of vehicles now, thank goodness for interest rates.

I see this ending at some point, probably 2-3 years. I also see people continuing to keep cars longer, which has already happened. Frankly I'm shocked by the stickers I see today.
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I've read a few more articles since writing that post and have a few added interesting tidbits:

* Ford is being quiet about it, but the Company can't build that many Fusions in a month. And even fewer since they are also building MKZs. They "say" that inventory levels won't reach "critical" levels, but if sales maintain that pace, it'll be a problem. I expect Ford to increase Fusion allocations to key "conquest" markets. So, I'd expect the coasts to get more Fusions (especially California) and shortages to develop in the heartland until the new Fusion capacity comes online. So far, I haven't seen any firm indicator as to when that will happen.

* GM's new trucks haven't yet hit the streets, but they're already advertising better fuel economy than Ford. Should be a real battle in the time window until Ford's new truck is available. First salvo from Ford: $1000 incentive on EcoBoost for F-series.

* MKZ article:
I went to the Lincoln site and priced out an MKZ, fairly loaded.... at about $45k. I'd be hard pressed to decide on an MKZ when I could buy a pretty nice A4 for that price.... and know that the residuals would most likely be superior.

Overall, good times for Ford.... although they'll have to fight it out with trucks. And, keep in mind that the good times are in North America only. Ford is not even a break-even proposition in the rest of the world.

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Just caught the Motor Trend article from April 2013 comparing CMax vs Prius...nod to CMax in lots of areas, and overall... fairly complimentary and enthusiastic except for as driven gas mileage... quite a coup in my opinion hmmm cant claim a pun there...;(
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If I were to lease or purchase a domestic vehicle I would buy a Ford over a General Motors product because GM went bankrupt and feased taxpayers.

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...because GM went bankrupt and feased taxpayers.

From the Urban Dictionary:

A move in void-type Scrabble game that passes validation but is clearly not a word.
He played 'scumple' and Scrabulous let him play it! That is so feased.

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