Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales totaled 129,898, down 31% compared with April 2008. Retail sales were down 32% compared with a year ago ,and fleet sales were down 30%. Mustang dropped 50% and F-series dropped 43%.
Year-to-dates sales plunged 40%, or 300,000 vehicles, the equivalent of the output of six final assembly plants on an annualized basis for the loss making automaker.
Ford claimed it is gaining “retail” market share, thanks in part to the success of the company’s revamped line of hybrid vehicles, which has been heavily promoted. Actual share numbers based on total market were not provided, but Ford’s overall share has been dropping for a decade or more. At the end of the first quarter, Ford’s overall share of the U.S. market, measured traditionally, was down to 13.9%, a loss of 1.1%.
George Pipas, Ford sales analyst, said consumers really do pay attention “when you start talking about 41 miles per gallon. Thus, hybrid sales, which have been backed by an aggressive advertising campaign for the past couple of months, jumped 21% or 2,299 units, last month in a market that was down by about 34% by the best estimates.
Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, Sales and Marketing, said hybrid models are the most fuel-efficient vehicles in their class. The Ford Escape and Ford Fusion recently were all named to Kelley Blue Book’s list of Top 10 Green Cars.
“New, fuel-efficient products and quality on par with the best in the industry helped Ford increase retail market share in April – the sixth time in the last seven months that Ford’s share of the retail market was higher than a year ago,” said Pipas. (more…)