DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co.'s U.S. light-vehicle sales fell 4 percent in October as a continued drop in car demand -- and a second-straight decline for its venerable F series -- outweighed gains for crossovers and SUVs.
The automaker's car sales plummeted 17 percent, while van sales fell 4.9 percent and utility sales rose 6.7 percent, Ford said on Thursday.
Ford's retail sales declined 4.9 percent, while fleet sales dropped 1.2 percent.
Mark LaNeve, Ford's vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, said pickups, vans and utilities represented 81 percent of Ford's sales last month as it continues to phase out sedans in North America. He said the higher-margin trucks helped push Ford's average transaction price to a record high. Even though F-series sales were lower, volume topped 70,000 vehicles for an eighth consecutive month.
Lincoln brand sales sank 15 percent, with every nameplate was down from a year ago except the recently redesigned Navigator.
After falling into fourth place in September, behind General Motors, FCA US and Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Ford topped FCA by more than 14,000 vehicles and Toyota by 580 in October.
Brands: Ford down 3.5%, Lincoln down 15%
Notable nameplates: Ford F series down 7.3%, Ford Mustang down 6%, Ford Fusion down 9.1%, Ford Explorer up 13%, Ford Escape down 11%, Ford Expedition up 75%, Lincoln Continental down 42%, Lincoln MKC down 8.5%, Lincoln Navigator up 70%
Incentives: $4,390 per vehicle, up 2.4% from a year earlier, according to ALG
Average transaction price: $37,905, up 4.6% from a year earlier, according to ALG
Fleet mix: 26.8%, up 0.7 percentage point from October 2017
Inventory: 648,018, a 87-day supply. That compares with 604,168, a 77-day supply, at the end of September.
Quote: "Our market share has inched up over the year despite competitive launches," LaNeve said of the F series' performance amid the introduction of redesigned Chevrolet and Ram pickups.
Did you know? Ford sold more Explorers than Escapes for the third time in the last four months. Escape sales are down 10 percent this year.
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