Ford Motor Co.'s most profitable model line, the F series, overcame more than a week of downtime caused by a parts shortage to carry the company to a 0.5 percent sales increase in May, despite declines for Ford's cars and the Lincoln brand.
The automaker's pickup and van sales rose 9.1 percent, while utility vehicles inched up 0.5 percent. Car sales dropped 13 percent a month after Ford announced plans to phase out every passenger car in its North American lineup except for the Mustang and upcoming Focus Active.
The company said F-series incentive spending was under $4,000 per vehicle last month, as the nameplate's average transaction price rose $1,400 from a year ago to $46,500. Inventories fell to 68 days' worth, from 86 a month ago, after production was halted at plants in Michigan, Kentucky and Kansas City following a May 2 fire at a magnesium supplier plant in mid-Michigan.
Lincoln sales fell for the eighth consecutive month, although executives contend the luxury brand's overall business is healthy. Sales of the redesigned Navigator skyrocketed 122 percent last month, and Lincoln's retail share grew to 6 percent from 5 percent a year ago, Ford said.
Brands: Ford up 0.8%, Lincoln down 5.2%
Notable nameplates: F series up 11% to 84,639, marking its fourth month over 80,000 units in the last nine months; Transit up 12% to 15,513; Mustang up 11% to 8,739; Fusion down 29% to 15,253; Escape down 3% to 26,993; Lincoln Continental down 38% to 660; Navigator up 122% to 1,837.
Incentives: $4,226 per vehicle, up 2.5% from a year earlier, according to ALG.
Average transaction price: $36,391 per vehicle, up 3.1% from a year earlier, ALG estimates.
Fleet mix: 32.5%, 1.8 percentage points higher than May 2017
Inventory: 678,396 vehicles, a 73-day supply, in May. That compares with 732,000 vehicles, an 86-day supply, in April.
Quote: "It was quite a month in a number of ways. It felt strong from beginning to end, with a really good final weekend," Mark LaNeve, Ford's head of U.S. marketing, sales and service, said on a conference call Friday with analysts and reporters.
Did you know? The Transit's May sales of 15,513 represented the model's highest volume for any month since its 2014 launch. Conversely, the Lincoln Continental's May sales of 660 represented its worst month since returning to the lineup in late 2016.