Ford Motor Co. followed the same pattern as the two other Detroit automakers, posting a decline in sales for 2019, although its F-Series pickups retained the “Best Selling Vehicle” title for the 43rd straight year.
While the rest of the industry reported sales results last week, the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker today reported its full-year sales fell 3% last year, although its fourth-quarter sales were down just 1.3% compared with the year-ago result. The company’s trucks led the way in both the final quarter and full year.
Trucks sales were up 15.9% in 4Q to 330,075 units — the company’s best fourth quarter since 2001. For the entire year, the automaker sold 1,243,136 trucks, which includes its van business, an increase of 9.1 percent. Unsurprisingly, car sales fell 41% during the quarter and 28.2% for the entire year.
“America’s best-selling brand for the past decade is on a roll. F-Series celebrates 43 years as the country’s favorite truck and 38 years as its overall vehicle, and Transit stood at the top of the van podium again,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service.
“We promised a winning portfolio and that’s what we’re delivering with more on the way, including Mustang Mach-E, an all-new F-150 and the return of Bronco. It’s going to be an exciting year for new product at Ford.”
It wasn’t just the company’s full-size pickups posting an increase, sales of the newly introduced midsize Ranger in the final quarter hit 33,059 pickups and totaled 89,571 for 2019. Adding those numbers to the F-Series results netted 986,097 pickups sold for the year – an increase of 8.4 percent.
Helping keep the company’s losses to a minimum during the quarter and full year was Lincoln. The company’s luxury brand is in the midst of a massive overhaul of its product line-up, led a by slew of new SUVs. The brand’s fourth quarter sales were up 17.8% and the entire year was up 8.1%, led largely by Navigator and Aviator sales.
Despite the slight decrease, the automaker did finish first in a few sales categories, including sports car with the Mustang and van with the Transit. While the Mustang did enjoy a 20.9% jump during the fourth quarter, its overall sales were down for 2019, falling 4.6 percent.
As previously mentioned, passenger car sales were down significantly for the automaker as it phases out of that segment, sliding 42.6% in 4Q and 29% for the entire year. Perhaps a bit more surprising was the fact that the company’s SUV sales were also down for both time frames.
The automaker has been introducing revamped versions of the Escape, Explorer and Expedition throughout the year. The new Expedition has been a hit, with sales up 71.6% during the fourth quarter and 58.1% overall; however, the Explorer and Escape haven’t garnered much momentum for the full year as their new models came out in the final half of 2019.
Despite both of those models finishing down double digits for the final quarter and full year, the Edge has enjoyed strong results this year. The new Edge saw sales rise 6.9% during the quarter just ended while full-year sales jumped 3.3% to 138,515 units.
Ford Transit was America’s best-selling van for 2019 and achieved its best sales performance since its introduction in 2014. Ford has now been America’s best-selling commercial van maker for 41 straight years. Combined with pickups, Ford’s commercial truck sales were up 10.1% in 2019.