Normally, posting a 31% decline in sales compared to the same month a year earlier wouldn’t be cause for celebration, but that drop is actually considerably smaller than at rival automakers, including Toyota, which saw sales fall by an almost unbelievable 42%. Not a single Toyota nameplate posted sales gains in April of ‘09.
Ford, on the other hand, found something to hang its hat on with the new 2010 Fusion. Ford moved 18,321 Fusions in April, which is a 21.7% improvement over last April and a record for any month. That success was offset somewhat by the 35.8% decline in F-Series truck sales, but a gain is a gain, and Ford will take anything it can get.
[Source: Ford, Toyota | Image: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty]
FORD GAINS RETAIL SHARE AS FUSION SETS SALES RECORD
* Ford gains retail share – for the sixth time in last seven months
* Ford Fusion sets monthly sales record and grows strength in mid-size car segment
* Ford hybrids combine to eclipse year-ago sales; Kelley Blue Book names Fusion Hybrid and Escape Hybrid to Top 10 Green Cars list
* Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales totaled 129,898
Soundbites: April 2009 Sales
DEARBORN, Mich., May 1, 2009 – New, fuel-efficient products and quality on par with the best in the industry helped Ford increase retail market share in April – the sixth time in the last seven months that Ford’s share of the retail market was higher than a year ago.
In April, the Ford Fusion paced the share performance. Fusion sales totaled 18,321, a record for any month. April was the first full month of sales for the redesigned 2010 model and the new Fusion Hybrid version, and April is believed to be the first month that Fusion was among the top three-selling mid-size sedans. Recent independent studies rate Fusion and the Mercury Milan – the most fuel-efficient mid-size sedans in America! – as having the best predicted reliability among all mid-size sedans.
“We continue to operate in a very challenging economic and competitive environment,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, Sales and Marketing. “Especially given this external environment, we’re very encouraged by the consumer response to our new mid-size sedans.”
“Sales of the 2010 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Lincoln MKZ and hybrid versions exceeded our plan and customers also are equipping our new products with levels of content and features that are higher than we expected,” he added. “This suggests consumers view our high-quality, fuel-efficient new products as offering outstanding value.”
The new Fusion Hybrid is one of four hybrid models offered by Ford. Hybrid models also are offered in the Mercury Milan mid-size sedan and the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner small utility vehicles. All Ford hybrid models are the most fuel-efficient vehicles in their class, and the Ford Escape and Ford Fusion recently were named to Kelley Blue Book’s list of Top 10 Green Cars. In April, combined sales of all hybrid models totaled 2,299, up 21 percent versus a year ago.
Other new Ford products contributed to the retail share performance, including the new F-150 pickup, America’s best-selling vehicle, and Ford Flex, the distinctively styled crossover utility that had its best sales month ever (3,190).
Growing awareness and consideration of Ford and its high-quality, fuel-efficient products are starting to take hold. Plus , through June 1, Ford is offering consumers additional reasons to “Drive one.”
The Ford Advantage Plan offers payment protection up to 12 months for up to $700 per month on any new Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle if a customer loses his or her job. Plus, 0 percent financing from Ford Motor Credit is available on select vehicles.
On Tuesday, April 28, Ford launched a community engagement phase of the Ford Advantage Plan. Through June 1, Ford will donate $20 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure for every test drive taken at a participating Ford, Lincoln and Mercury dealership to Komen – up to $1 million. That amount could grow even higher as more than a thousand dealers around the country are joining in to match the company’s donation. During the past 15 years, Ford has contributed more than $100 million to the fight against breast cancer.
Ford, Lincoln and Mercury sales totaled 129,898, down 31 percent compared with April 2008. Retail sales were down 32 percent compared with a year ago and fleet sales were down 30 percent.
Note: The sales data included in this release and the accompanying tables are based largely on data reported by dealers representing their sales to retail and fleet customers.
Toyota Reports April Sales
TOYOTA REPORTS APRIL SALES
TORRANCE, Calif. (May 1, 2009) – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported month-end sales of 126,540 vehicles, a decrease of 41.9 percent from last April, on a daily selling rate basis.
The Toyota Division posted April sales of 112,345 units, a decrease of 42.2 percent from the same period last year. The Lexus Division reported April sales of 14,195 units, a decrease of 39.2 percent from the year-ago month.
Toyota Division passenger cars recorded April sales of 70,662 units, down 41.6 percent from the same period last year. Camry and Camry Hybrid remained Toyota’s volume leader in April, posting combined monthly sales of 25,324 units. Corolla recorded sales of 18,534 units. Yaris reported sales of 8,118 units for the month. The Prius mid-size gas-electric hybrid posted April sales of 8,385 units.
Toyota Division light trucks posted April sales of 41,683 units, down 43.1 percent from the year-ago month. Light truck sales were led by the RAV4 compact SUV with sales of 11,126 units. The Tacoma mid-size pickup reported sales of 9,027 units for the month. The Tundra full-size pickup recorded April sales of 6,156 units. Highlander and Highlander Hybrid posted combined sales of 5,595 units.
Scion posted April sales of 4,442 units. The xB urban utility vehicle led the way with sales of 2,036 units. The tC sports coupe recorded sales of 1,526 units. The xD reported sales of 880 units for the month.
Lexus passenger cars reported April sales of 7,189 units, a decrease of 47.8 percent from April 2008. Passenger car sales were led by the ES entry luxury sedan with April sales of 3,549 units. The IS entry luxury sport sedan posted combined sales of 2,324 units. The LS flagship luxury sedan recorded combined sales of 765 units. The GS luxury sport sedan reported combined April sales of 468 units.
Lexus Division light trucks recorded April sales of 7,006 units, down 26.9 percent from the year-ago month. Lexus sales were led by the RX and RX Hybrid luxury utility vehicle, which posted combined April sales of 6,237 units. Thanks to strong sales of the new 2010 RX 350, the RX was the industry’s best-selling luxury vehicle for the month of April.
TMS posted April sales of 12,223 hybrid vehicles. Toyota Division recorded sales of 11,516 hybrids for the month. Lexus Division reported April sales of 707 hybrids.
John Paul Strong
John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 140 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.