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FORD REPORTS AUGUST SALES; FORD FOCUS, ESCAPE REMAIN STANDOUTS IN A CHALLENGING MARKET


  • Ford Focus sales were up 23 percent and Ford Escape sales were up 17 percent versus year ago.
  • Lower demand for trucks and SUVs drives total Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales down 26 percent.
  • Ford updates second-half production plans.


DEARBORN, Mich., September 3, 2008 – Higher demand for the fuel-efficient Ford Focus and Ford Escape continued in August, as consumers continued moving to smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Ford Focus sales were up 23 percent and Escape sales were up 17 percent versus a year ago, while the impact of a weak economy and lower demand for large trucks and SUVs resulted in double-digit sales declines for Ford and the auto industry.

"The Focus and Escape offer the features and fuel economy today's consumer's want," said Jim Farley, Ford group vice president, Marketing and Communications.

The 2009 Escape, with its new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed transmission, delivers class-leading highway fuel economy of 28 mpg – matching the 2009 Toyota RAV4 and topping the Honda CR-V. The 2009 Escape Hybrid delivers 34 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, making it the most fuel-efficient utility vehicle available.

The 2009 Focus has similarly impressive fuel economy with an EPA highway fuel economy of 35 mpg – equal to the Toyota Corolla and the smaller 2009 Honda Fit.

Overall, during August, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicle sales totaled 151,021, down 26 percent. The decline primarily reflects lower demand for SUVs (down 53 percent) and trucks (down 39 percent) and lower sales to fleet customers (down 31 percent).

"We expect the second half of 2008 will be more challenging than the first half, as weak economic conditions and the consumer credit crunch continues," said Farley.

North American Production

Ford now plans to produce 890,000 vehicles in the second half of 2008 (420,000 vehicles in the third quarter and 470,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter).

The second-half plan is 50,000 vehicles lower than the previous plan (20,000 vehicles in the third quarter and 30,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter). The reduction primarily reflects lower sales to daily rental companies, lower production associated with the transfer of the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator from Michigan Truck Plant to Kentucky Truck Plant, and a downward revision to the company's U.S. industry sales forecast (to the low end of the previously provided range of 14.0 to 14.5 million).





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It makes me sick to see Mercury's sale numbers so low. I just don't understand it. But it's good to see the Focus and Escape sale numbers on the rise.
 

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Mercury, I feel your pain too. I am a little stumped on what Ford needs to do, but hopefully their new plan with Mercury will bring them back atop the pedestal they soo deserve.
 
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MKS is doing very well. Lincoln will be in good shape for the economic recovery, when the re-styled MKZ, and new MKT will be for sale by then.

By the end of 2009, I expect Lincoln to have the following Avg monthly sales
MKZ 3,700
MKX 3,000
MKS 2,800
MKT 1,300
Navigator 1,000
Town Car 700

Total 12,500

Add in a small CUV, a sporty coupe/convertable, and they could hit 18 to 20K in a few years.

I don't see Mercury recovering that quickly. Only one new model was mentioned, and that will likely be their version of the Focus. It does look like they will lose Sable, Grand Marquis and Mountaineer. I'd say by the time this happens their sales will be
Milan 2,000
MerFocus 3,000
Mariner 2,500

Total 7,500
 
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I am a manager at a stand alone Lincoln Mercury dealership in a small town. In August we sold as many new vehicles as the Ford dealer in our town. It was alot of work but it can be done. Ford is not only consolidating Lincoln Mercury franchises into Ford stores but also merging Ford franchises into existing Lincoln Mercury dealerships. There are still plenty of LM dealers to handle the customer for that product. If anything Ford is helping the weak dealers bail out of failing businesses. Would you prefer to buy a new MKS from a dealership who can't afford a new lift or proper technician training? I wouldn't either. So what you are seeing is an attempt to build a stronger and better dealer network both in sales and service.
I was talking with someone earlier about dealerships in this economy. We both agreed that it is likely that economic conditions (at least with the auto market) will weed out many dealerships because they won't survive. This would be good for Ford and GM both; both have bloated dealership networks. "Only the strong survive" is fine, so long as they don't take it too far.
 

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OOOOuchh!

Is painful to see that numbers. But the oil prices are going down as quick as its went up some months ago. I hope in the near future, the car market will recovery, and Ford will be in better shape to compete in that new market.

For GM the future isn't as clear as Ford. In Venezuela, GM is the number 1 car company. They produce 200000 units a year, but comunist Chavez goverment ( or dictator?) is promoting some troubles and strikes. The Chavez's sindicate close the GM plants without the agreement of the plants workers. Some journalist are saying that Chavez want to take the GM plants and gave it to the Iranian car company!!!!!!

GM have solid profits in SouthAmerica, like Ford, and that profits help the whole results, but if GM lost its venezuelan operation, the negative impact on the GM numbers will be very dangerours.
 

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For GM the future isn't as clear as Ford. In Venezuela, GM is the number 1 car company. They produce 200000 units a year, but comunist Chavez goverment ( or dictator?) is promoting some troubles and strikes. The Chavez's sindicate close the GM plants without the agreement of the plants workers. Some journalist are saying that Chavez want to take the GM plants and gave it to the Iranian car company!!!!!!

GM have solid profits in SouthAmerica, like Ford, and that profits help the whole results, but if GM lost its venezuelan operation, the negative impact on the GM numbers will be very dangerours.
GM's cash cow at the moment is China/India. South America has been good for them too, but it is nowhere near China/India. Actually, GM is turning a profit in every market except North America and Europe. In emerging markets, GM is on fire.
 
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