FORD: Pickup, fleet sales drive second straight monthly gain

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co.'s U.S. light-vehicle sales rose 6.4 percent in October behind strong F-series sales and a double-digit rise in fleet sales related to order timing. It was Ford's second consecutive monthly gain.

Brands: Ford up 6.8%, Lincoln down 1.8%.

Notable nameplates: F series up 16% for its best October since 2004, with 51% of those sales being the three most expensive trim levels; Focus up 7.8% for its fourth-straight monthly gain; Mustang down 3.3% as freshened 2018 models began arriving in showrooms.

Incentives: $4,443 per vehicle, up 9.4% from a year earlier, according to ALG.

Average transaction price: $35,981, up 1% from a year earlier, according to ALG.

Fleet mix:26%. Fleet sales up 15% in October.

Inventory: Ford's gross stock at the end of October was 636,907 vehicles, representing a 79-day supply, up from a 72-day supply a month earlier.

Quote: "There will be some level of trench warfare no matter what," Mark LaNeve, Ford's vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, said about the full-size pickup segment in 2018, when Ford's competitors will change over to new models. "We anticipate it being competitive."

Did you know? September and October marked Ford's first back-to-back monthly sales gains of 2017.

You can reach Michael Martinez at mdmartinez@crain.com -- Follow Michael on Twitter: @MikeMartinez_AN

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