Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) reported Tuesday that September U.S. sales were basically flat compared to last year, thanks largely to a decline in truck sales attributed mainly to the discontinuation of the Ranger model.
The Dearborn, Mich.-based auto giant sold 174,976 vehicles last month, down a slight 0.1 percent. It nearly doubled the number of Ford Focuses it sold in September 2011, from 10,309 to 19,736. Sales of the Fusion contracted 37 percent from last year, but overall the company said it had the best September for small-car sales in a decade and a 73 percent year-over-year increase. This is due largely to increasing numbers of fuel-conscious consumers.
“Fuel economy remains one of the most important features customers want most today,” Ken Czubay, Ford vice president for US marketing said in a statement, adding that Ford currently has five models with over-40 mpg.
Still, it’s the big trucks that make up a large share of the company’s sales revenue. Cars have made up about 35 percent of the company’s 1.7 million vehicle sales in the past nine months.
The F-Series pickup continues to be Ford’s top seller with 55,077 of the vehicles rolling off the lots last month, more than all Ford cars the company sold in the same period of time. The company sold 1.2 percent more F-Series trucks last month than the same month last year. It is also by far the most popular of the truck and heavy vehicles division; it represented 81 percent of all sales in this category last month.
The Escape compact utility vehicle saw a 14 percent increase in sales last month, its best September on record with 23,148 sold. Overall, Ford utility vehicles saw the biggest rise in monthly sales, 8.7 percent, carried by the strong performance of the Escape, Explorer and Edge models.
Sales from the Lincoln brand contracted 3.1 percent. Sales of the Lincoln MKS, MKX and the discontinued Town Car shrunk while the MKZ, MKT and Navigator grew.
The company began selling three new models in September, the compact C-MAX and two police interceptor vehicles.Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) shares declined 1.71 percent to $9.76 on Tuesday.