Ford Motor Co. ended a rocky first half of 2018 on a positive note as strong retail sales helped it post a 1 percent volume increase in June.
The automaker overcame a 2.3 percent decline in fleet business and a 14 percent drop for its cars thanks to strong performances by its utility vehicles and other trucks. Utility sales rose 8.9 percent for a record June while sales of pickups and vans increased 3 percent.
Lincoln snapped an eight-month losing skid, propped up by sales of the redesigned Navigator SUV and MKC crossover. Ford said the Navigator's average transaction price in June was more than $81,000, a 50 percent increase from the same period a year ago.
Through the first half of the year, Ford Motor sales are down 1.8 percent, including a 1.1 percent drop in retail sales.
Brands: Ford up 1%, Lincoln up 2.8%
Notable nameplates: F series up 1.7% to 79,204; Transit up 25% to 13,533; Mustang up 20% to 7,400; Fusion down 14% to 15,678; Escape up 6.4% to 28,901; Lincoln Continental down 44% to 546; Navigator up 68% to 1,650.
U.S. market share: 14.8 % in June vs. 15.4 % in June 2017; 14.8 % year-to-date through June vs. 15.3 % year-to-date through June 2017.
Incentives: $4,400 per vehicle, up 2.1% from a year earlier, according to ALG.
Average transaction price: $36,325 per vehicle, up 1.7% from a year earlier, ALG estimates.
Fleet mix: 32%, 1.1 percentage points lower than May 2017
Inventory: 665,004 vehicles, a 78-day supply. That compares with 678,396 vehicles, a 73-day supply, in May.
Quote: "We have enough to run pretty good numbers through the balance of the year. ... We'll basically be out of 'em for 2019," Mark LaNeve, Ford's head of U.S. marketing, sales and service, on the Focus compact car, which ended U.S. production earlier this year.
Did you know? With first-half sales of 451,138, the Ford F-Series is outpacing the first half of 2004, when the automaker sold a record 939,511 pickups.