Ford Sales Down 10.7 Percent
Before the Friends of the Blue Oval get out their Woo-Hoos, it behooves
anyone looking at any of June’s new car sales figures to remember that
today’s percentages are all stated in relation to June 2008, which was a
tremendously crap month for car dealers. Industry-wide, sales fell 18
percent, as gas prices rose and America’s economic bubble popped like a
festering . . . you get the idea. If not, clock this factoid: June ‘09
marks the 24th year-over-year monthly decline in the last 25 months.
Rose tinted glasses crushed under the jackboot of reality, let’s
continue. . . “Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales totaled 148,153, down 11
percent versus a year ago, which is believed to be the month’s lowest
decline among major auto manufacturers.” Yes, it’s that bad out there
that doing less bad than the other guys is considered a major victory.
Click here for full results. Jump for instant analysis (just add page
views). Again, Ford’s press release is full of the sales equivalent of
“Ford Mustang sales to retail customers [7,632 vs. 10,893] nearly
matched year-ago levels.” Not sure what part of that stat’s retail and
what part’s fleet (Ford pulling its usual stunt in this regard). Taken
as a whole, that’s a 29.9 percent drop to you and me.
“Retail sales for the Ford F-Series and Ranger pickup trucks were higher
than a year ago.” As Steely Dan sang in Gaucho, would you care to
explain? ‘I’m seeing a 7.4 percent drop in F-150 sales (35,915 and a
38,789 and a 4.4 percent increase in Rangers. Still, if not for pickups,
Ford would be dead.
“Although Lincoln sales were lower than a year ago, Lincoln gained
market share in the luxury segment in the first half of 2009 versus a
year ago. This primarily reflects the strength of the all-new Lincoln
Yes, they are lower: 7,137 vs. 9,718, for a 26.6 percent drop. And yes,
sales of the new MKS are WAY up in percentage terms–254.5 percent. But
the raw numbers are still pretty dire: 1,365 vs. 385 units. To put that
in some perspective, BMW sold 8,621 3-Series and 3,904 5-Series sedans
Anyway, there’s Blue Oval blood everywhere. The monthly and year-to-date
numbers are staggeringly bad. Suffice it to say, my preliminary read of
these stats is that Ford’s “success” is fleeting. The only models not
jumping off a cliff are vehicles headed for fleet duty. Hence Ford’s
insistence on touting retail sales—without revealing them. See how that
works? And the production ramp-up only looks good in comparison to the
total shutdown in Q2, which allowed inventory levels to taper off. See
how that works?
Now that New Chrysler is burning tax dollars without a car in the world,
and New GM is about to emerge debt-free with the Mother of All Sugar
Daddies (Uncle Sam) footing the bills, Ford is looking more and more
like the next American English patient, if you know what I mean.