Focus stands out in otherwise flat October for Ford
For the second month in a row, the Ford Focus was one of the new stars of Ford Motor Co.'s U.S. monthly sales while dealers continued to increase stockpiles of the redesigned 2013 Fusion.
Overall, Ford said its October sales were mostly flat, for the second month in a row, with Ford division up 1 percent but Lincoln deliveries down 15 percent. The results mean Ford continues to lose market share in the United States. Through October, Ford has captured 15.5 percent of U.S. light vehicle sales, down from 16.8 percent for the same period in 2011.
A 2 percent increase in both car and utility sales was offset by a 2 percent drop in combined truck and van deliveries, reflecting the discontinuation of the Ranger, Ford said.
Ford sold 18,320 Focuses in October, a 48 percent gain from last October. The Focus was the third-best selling vehicle in the Ford lineup behind the F-series pickup and Escape crossover.
Ford also began shipping 2013 Fusions from its Hermosillo, Mexico, assembly plant to dealers in mid-September. Fusion sales in October fell 30 percent from last year.
"By the end of the year, I'm very confident we'll have full lots of  Fusions," Ken Czubay, Ford vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, told reporters and analysts today.
Higher fuel prices in the beginning of the month boosted sales of the Ford Focus and C-Max Hybrid, especially in California and elsewhere on the West Coast. In October, 3,182 C-Max Hybrids were sold, up from 969 from its debut last month.
Ford division's small-car sales (the Fiesta, Focus and C-Max) totaled 25,493 vehicles last month -- its strongest October small-car sales in 11 years -- and an increase of 54 percent over last year.
Pickup sales fell 5 percent in October. Many dealers are running out of the now-discontinued Ford Ranger. Ranger sales fell to just 74 units last month. F series sales rose 8 percent to 56,497.
SUV sales gained 2 percent in October. Sales of the Escape rose 4 percent to 19,832. Ford Explorer sales rose by 19 percent to 14,220, while the Expedition fell 22 percent to 2,943. Flex sales dropped 24 percent to 1,444.
At Lincoln, MKT sales rose 15 percent to 426, and sales of the Navigator rose by 9 percent to 792, while sales of all other Lincolns fell. Lincoln MKZ sales fell by 17 percent to 1,614. A new MKZ arrives Dec. 1.
Ford dealers had an 81-day supply of vehicles on Nov. 1.
Ford estimated that about 2,000 to 3,000 unit sales were impacted by Hurricane Sandy, which hit the East Coast Monday evening.