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December 30, 2013 - 10:57 am ET
DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co. said U.S. sales for its main brand will surpass 2.4 million vehicles this year, as record demand for its Fusion sedan and hybrid models helps extend a lead over Toyota Motor Corp.’s namesake line.

The Ford marque entered December ahead of Toyota by 388,825 cars and light trucks, heading for its fourth straight year as the top-selling U.S. auto brand. In 2012’s full-year tally, the margin was 322,521.

The brand title reflects CEO Alan Mulally’s strategy that the U.S. automaker would flourish by narrowing its focus. He sold off the Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin and Volvo luxury lines, shuttered Mercury and pushed the namesake brand to complement its strengths in pickups and SUVs with more competitive cars.

“We are not overly reliant on any one segment,” John Felice, Ford's vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, said in a statement today. “With 16 launches next year, we’re looking to keep our sales momentum going.”

Demand for Fusions and hybrids such as the C-Max will boost Ford-brand sales to retail buyers to the highest since 2000, the automaker said.

Retail advantage

The Toyota division is on pace to beat the Ford brand this year in light-vehicle retail sales, which exclude fleet customers such as rental companies, Bill Fay, group vice president for U.S. Toyota sales, said in a Dec. 5 interview. Toyota-brand sales include Scion vehicles.

“That’s been a result of the recovery of the brand and the division the last couple years,” Fay said. “It’s not one of our stated goals. We’re more focused on trying to sell our plan, satisfy our customers and support the dealers’ business model.”

Ford’s Fusion, redesigned in 2012 with styling evocative of an Aston Martin, will exceed 290,000 sales this year, the company said in its statement. The model last month passed its previous annual sales record, set in 2011. Deliveries rose 22 percent through November, outpacing gains of 1.3 percent for Toyota’s Camry and 11 percent for Honda Motor Co.’s Accord.

Ford said its hybrid sales will top 80,000 this year, almost triple the 2012 total. By May, the automaker had beaten its previous annual best, achieved three years ago.

Keeping the hybrid gains going will be a challenge in 2014, as C-Max sales momentum slowed after Ford restated its fuel efficiency rating in August. Since the company cut the rating by 4 miles per gallon to 43 mpg, the C-Max has had its three worst sales months since September 2012, when the model debuted in the U.S.

Pickup test

The Ford brand also faces a test with the redesign of the F-150 pickup, the company’s most profitable model line. IHS Automotive has estimated that Ford’s large-pickup production will fall 8.5 percent in 2014 as the company’s truck plants change over to the updated pickup. The revamped F-150 sheds weight through more use of aluminum in its body and will be unveiled at the Detroit auto show in January, people familiar with Ford’s plans have said.

The company’s statement today didn’t give a forecast for full-year F-series sales. Ford sold 688,810 of the pickups in the U.S. this year through November, a 19 percent increase.

The F-series, headed to its 32nd straight year as the top-selling vehicle line in the U.S., had a lead through 11 months of more than 250,000 over General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Silverado, which held the No. 2 spot.

Contact Automotive News
 

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Nice, but wake me when Ford is the retail leader. I'm curious as to what percentage of Ford's overall sales is from sales to rental companies? Fleet sales get a bad name because of the damage rental companies dumping relatively new car into the market does to resale prices. Outside of rental fleets the sales are good though.

Overall good news, though as they say "Lies, damned lies and statistics".
 

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Yes, good news and should be better even next year. I hope they've resolved there launch problems with 16 models debut next year here alone.
 

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What an odd perspective for an article. The Ford brand and Ford Motor Company has outsold the Toyota brand and Toyota Motor Corporation in NA since......forever. But FoMoCo will remain #2 behind #1 GM, with Toyota remaining at #3. FoMoCo ended Nov with a 11.7% increase YTD.

However, the Detroit News article is more on point. The Ford brand reaching 2.4 million units will outsell any one GM or Toyota brand, and become the #1 selling brand for 2014. The Ford Brand is up 12.3% YTD as of Nov.

The C-MAX should get a sale boost when the 2014 mpg is announced next month. The 2014 C-MAX Energi is still at 43mpg in hybrid mode(based on the 2014 window sticker), but Ford has not announced the mpg improvement for 2014 C-MAX Hybrid(and none in inventory), after the aerodynamic, transmission and engine adjustments for 2014.
 

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I think Ford can catch GM and surpass them here in the USA if they resolve the capacity issues and get Lincoln rolling. I believe GM has plateau'd here, I could be wrong.
 

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Nice, but wake me when Ford is the retail leader. I'm curious as to what percentage of Ford's overall sales is from sales to rental companies? Fleet sales get a bad name because of the damage rental companies dumping relatively new car into the market does to resale prices. Outside of rental fleets the sales are good though.

Overall good news, though as they say "Lies, damned lies and statistics".
Ford is working hard to grow it's fleet leadership, which is very profitable for them as well as additional sales.
Rental fleet numbers have been coming down, as stated, although hopefully not too far, as those are still sales and the last thing I want to see in this country, is foreign only vehicles as rentals.
 

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Yes, good news and should be better even next year. I hope they've resolved there launch problems with 16 models debut next year here alone.
That's my concern as well. Launches are hard, period, for any carmaker. 16 new/revised models? The ol' "Quality is Job 1" mantra is gonna get tested...HARD.
 

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Nice, but wake me when Ford is the retail leader. I'm curious as to what percentage of Ford's overall sales is from sales to rental companies? Fleet sales get a bad name because of the damage rental companies dumping relatively new car into the market does to resale prices. Outside of rental fleets the sales are good though.

Overall good news, though as they say "Lies, damned lies and statistics".
Toyota AND Scion beat Ford brand ALONE as retail sales leader. Is that fair? What about Toyota ALONE?
 

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^

Toyota wishes they had a fraction of the fleet leadership Ford has.
People need to learn to differentiate or qualify their negative remarks on 'fleet.' They are all profitable sales, some far more than others.

Meanwhile, Ford is cashing in on fleet, contrary to silly cliches.



 

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^

Toyota wishes they had a fraction of the fleet leadership Ford has.
People need to learn to differentiate or qualify their negative remarks on 'fleet.' They are all profitable sales, some far more than others.

Meanwhile, Ford is cashing in on fleet, contrary to silly cliches.
Exactly! Ford only offers a $700 to $1500 fleet discount on most vehicles. Which is less of a discount offered to retail customers. And fleet owners don't just dump their cars in a few years. They sell them for the highest price possible, because they need to buy/invest again in a new vehicle....mostly Fords. Unlike most retail customers who will trade in their purchased vehicle, and receive much less than the fleet owner, but the dealership marks it up and resells at a higher price...similar to the fleet owner.

But now Ford is gaining more retail sales, while maintaining and gaining more leadership in different segments, along with maintaining their fleet leadership. It's a win all the way around.
 

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Exactly. Some need to quit pretending that Ford is desperate to fill rental lots because of excess Fusions/Escapes/Focii/etc. just to boost sales. Ford is balancing retail demand with rental fleet demand, and that balance has been swinging toward more retail, obviously. The transplants balance their capacity a bit different, and they are not about to build more plants just to match domestics & boost fleet. That does not make them more desirable, contrary to remarks.
 

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Exactly! Ford only offers a $700 to $1500 fleet discount on most vehicles. Which is less of a discount offered to retail customers. And fleet owners don't just dump their cars in a few years. They sell them for the highest price possible, because they need to buy/invest again in a new vehicle....mostly Fords. Unlike most retail customers who will trade in their purchased vehicle, and receive much less than the fleet owner, but the dealership marks it up and resells at a higher price...similar to the fleet owner.

But now Ford is gaining more retail sales, while maintaining and gaining more leadership in different segments, along with maintaining their fleet leadership. It's a win all the way around.
Fleet sales are awesome when we're talking about fleet customers that keep their vehicles throughout most of it's lifetime and don't put them back into the market as relatively new. Work trucks, taxi, limo sales and the like a re great! Hertz, not so much. I think I made the point that only rental fleet sales have a negative effect on resale/residual values. So long as Ford can continue to grow the good fleet sales while reducing the rental sales all is better than good! My point was simply that reducing the volume of rental car sales would be a boon to Ford and more importantly, their retail customers resulting in lower depreciation rates which allow for more attractive lease rates and on and on and on.
 

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Hopefully this clears up any of the fleet "myths" or worries.


2012 Registrations By Mfg.

2012 Registrations By Make/Model



IMHO, the rental fleet is the segment that has negative effect of a company/brand, by the time commercial/government fleet vehicles re-enter the market they are used-up.
 

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Hopefully this clears up any of the fleet "myths" or worries.


2012 Registrations By Mfg.

2012 Registrations By Make/Model



IMHO, the rental fleet is the segment that has negative effect of a company/brand, by the time commercial/government fleet vehicles re-enter the market they are used-up.
I'm surprised by the number of rental vehicles sold by Toyota and Nissan. I'm also concerned when almost one in three Fusions sold are rentals while Camry sits at 16%. Residuals/re-sale values are going to be far worse for Fusion owners than Camry, thats gonna hurt, especially for leases.
 

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I'm surprised by the number of rental vehicles sold by Toyota and Nissan. I'm also concerned when almost one in three Fusions sold are rentals while Camry sits at 16%. Residuals/re-sale values are going to be far worse for Fusion owners than Camry, thats gonna hurt, especially for leases.


This report is for CY 2012, so remember that was mostly the previous generation (Fusion).

I'm sure the information comes out and is available sooner, but this report typically comes out around July, so we won't know what 2013 looks like for a while.
 

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Nice, but wake me when Ford is the retail leader. I'm curious as to what percentage of Ford's overall sales is from sales to rental companies? Fleet sales get a bad name because of the damage rental companies dumping relatively new car into the market does to resale prices. Outside of rental fleets the sales are good though.

Overall good news, though as they say "Lies, damned lies and statistics".
looking at calendar year-to-date January through November fleet as a percentage of our total sales were 29% that would translate into 13% for commercial, 5% for government and 11% for daily rental.
Source http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ford-motors-management-presents-november-191803369.html

Year to date 2013 Jan - Nov = 2,202,150 units
My calculations for daily rental fleet sales year to date as of November 2013 = 70,248 units
 

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So Ford dropped in car rental fleet % from 2012 (13.8%) to 11% through November of 2013. That is fairly significant. I think it will drop further yet in December based on this threads article about retail growth.

Holy crap, I see GM's rental fleet was 25.6% in 2012. WOW, that was much more than I thought. I wonder what they dropped to?
 

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This report is for CY 2012, so remember that was mostly the previous generation (Fusion).

I'm sure the information comes out and is available sooner, but this report typically comes out around July, so we won't know what 2013 looks like for a while.
Good point! There should be little reason to dump Fusions into rental fleets when they were having a tough time producing enough to meet demand to begin with. It will be nice to see the next Taurus sell more into public hands than fleet too!
 
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