Ford Motor Co.'s March U.S. sales dropped 5.2 percent with sharply weaker car demand offset by slightly higher truck deliveries, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Lincoln logged another quiet month with sales ticking up 1.9 percent.
If there were two breakout stars on the showroom floor, it was the Ranger midsize pickup and the EcoSport crossover. And a hat tip to the Fiesta for a strong month, even though the end of the road is near. Lincoln's new Nautilus is off to a good start, but otherwise, not much is happening in Ford's luxury division.
Brands: Ford, down 5.5%; Lincoln, up 1.9%.
Notable nameplates: EcoSport, Ford's smallest crossover, continues its winning streak with sales of 5,244 units. For the quarter, Ford sold 12,879 EcoSports, up 111 percent over 2018's first quarter.
The Fiesta, running on fumes as the clock winds down on the entry-level hatchback, racked up March sales of 7,299, up 47 percent year over year and 29 percent for the quarter. Another Ford car slated for burial, the midsize Fusion sedan, also saw sales rise in March, with 18,008 sold, up from 16,103 a year ago.
On the truck side, the F-150 held its ground against the recently revamped Ram from Fiat Chrysler and the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra from General Motors. U.S. sales of the F-150, the industry's best-selling nameplate, totaled 86,497 last month, down from 87,011 a year ago. For the quarter, sales were stagnant, but still an industry best at 214,611, down 0.2 percent over a year ago.
The Ranger's return has been nothing but good news for Ford. The midsize truck chalked up sales of 4,369 units in March, according to the Automotive News Data Center. But two of Ford's bread-and-butter SUVs, the Escape and Edge, posted March declines.
At Lincoln, March can best be described as sleepy. Sales of the brand's utilities rose 10 percent, a gain canceled out by a 19 percent decline in car deliveries. The Nautilus SUV was Lincoln's star performer in March, with sales of 3,019. Ford and Lincoln sales figures for March are provided by the Automotive News Data Center.
Q1 2019 U.S. light-vehicle market share: 14.7% vs. 14.5% in Q1 2018.
March incentives: $3,954 per vehicle, down 5.1%from a year earlier, ALG says.
Average transaction price in March: $39,183, up 4.8% from a year earlier, according to ALG
Did you know? Though Mustang sales were down in March, that could change starting now. Traditionally, sales of sporty cars pick up in the spring, jump-started oftentimes by added incentives. Mustang's strongest months are usually April to August. Sales of sporty cars have been weak as the market shifts from cars to crossovers, trucks and SUVs. We'll be watching closely to see if Mustang gains ground as we round the corner into summer.