Ford sales rise 7%; redesigned Escape shines
Escape sales shot up 28 percent in June with the 2013 model accounting for 40 percent of the mix, hitting an all-time Escape sales record for any month at 28,500 units.
DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co.'s redesigned 2013 Escape crossover hit showrooms with a bang in June. Escape sales shot up 28 percent for the month with the 2013 model accounting for 40 percent of the mix, hitting an all-time Escape sales record for any month at 28,500 units, the automaker said today.
That made Escape the automaker's second-biggest seller for the month behind the perennial leader, the F-series pickup.
"The new Escape is off to a very strong start, with vehicles selling on dealer lots in less than five days," Ken Czubay, Ford vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, said in a statement.
Overall, the automaker's sales rose 7 percent in June from a year earlier to 207,204 units. Ford Motor sold 1,140,383 units in the first six months, up 7 percent.
Ford brand up 7%; Lincoln up 3%
Ford brand sales rose 7 percent in June to 199,660 and 7 percent in the first half to 1,098,421.
Lincoln sales grew 3 percent to 7,544 units in June, or 4 percent of the automaker's total.
Led by the Escape, SUVs were Ford's fastest growing category for June, up 25 percent, while car sales were flat and truck sales edged up 1 percent. Sales of the F series rose 11 percent to 55,025, the best June in five years.
Fleet sales accounted for 35 percent of the automaker's sales in June, including 13 percent to commercial fleets, 7 percent to government fleets and 15 percent to daily rental fleets.
Encouraging signs of a housing recovery could spur Ford's pickup sales in the second half.
"Home values have stabilized and are improving in several metro areas," Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, Ford's chief economist, said on today's conference call with journalists and analysts. "The fact that housing is moving up is very supportive of full-sized pickups."
Strong mid-sized sales
The Ford Fusion mid-sized sedan also set a record for June with sales of 24,433 units, up 17 percent. Ford is in sell-down mode on the 2012 model as the 2013 model will arrive in dealerships this fall.
Erich Merkle, Ford's U.S. sales analyst, said mid-sized sedans continue to be one of the industry's most dynamic segments, climbing an estimated 27 percent in the first half.
Consumer demand, he said, is "moving from larger vehicles to mid-sized so that progression of people moving to smaller vehicles is still in play. Large sedans are down 3 to 4 percent year to date."
Ford Motor's dealers finished June with 459,000 units in inventory, the company said, including 114,000 SUVs, 201,000 trucks and 144,000 cars.
That represents a 57-day supply, up from a 54-day supply at the end of May. In June 2011, Ford finished with 426,000 units, a 57-day supply.
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