All of Ford Motor Companies brands in the United States posted sales increases for the January 2010 period because of significant boosts in fleet sales, which more than doubled versus last January’s depressed levels.
FMC fleet sales were up 154%, as the automaker showed large gains in every fleet segment – commercial, government and daily rental.
Ford claims that last January most fleet owners deferred vehicle purchases due to the credit crunch and uncertain business and economic conditions. At that time and during the ensuing months the company boasted that it was decreasing fleet sales in favor of more profitable retails ones in a depressed market.
On a retail basis, Ford brands declined 5% in total retail sales when compared with what was an admittedly bad January of 2009.
On a unit basis, however, Ford cars were up +43%, crossovers were up +20%, sport utilities were up +8%, and trucks and vans were up +14%. Among the brands, Ford sales were up +26%, Lincoln sales were up +16% and Mercury sales were up +6%.
In the rough and tumble world of automotive marketing and image building, Ford Motor Company has been separating itself the other two wounded companies that comprise the Detroit Three, reorganized Chrysler and General Motors, by saying, accurately, that it did not accept taxpayer bailout money last year.
While true as stated, the Dearborn, Michigan, based company has accepted billions in government money to develop vehicles and retool its U.S. assembly lines to get back in sync with existing and projected consumer tastes, after the U.S.’s largest truck maker stayed with gas-guzzling, body-on-frame pickup trucks and SUVs for far too long.
The question facing the family-controlled Ford and its stockholders and potential investors is whether the company can continue to increase share profitably as all of its competitors regroup. One thing is clear, Ford made huge inrods in overall sales in January against a floundering Toyota.