FORD MOTOR COMPANY -5% (excluding Volvo)
Ford's 5% decline actually pushed it ahead of Toyota and moved it into second place. A little more than one in four FoMoCo vehicles went into fleets. This is the first month that Ford did not include Volvo sales, but those 4000 or so units were not a big factor in the company's total.
We can understand Explorer sales dropping off (by nearly half) with the announcement of a new model, but what happened to the Mustang (-26%), or the Flex (-27%), or the Transit Connect (-23%)? At least the Taurus and the Escape were able to maintain. The best performers were the big vans. All other models were down.
Word of Mercury's impending death must have reached the nation's retirement communities last month, as the Grand Marquis enjoyed a major surge in sales (+54%). Attention, seniors: Get one before it goes the way of the dial telephone.
Finally some good news for Lincoln, with nice increases for the MKX (+19%) and the MKS (+15%). Oh, and Town Car sales doubled.
TOYOTA MOTOR SALES -12%
Toyota's July-to-August drop was the worst of the major Asian automakers, and it pushed Toyota down into third place, behind Ford. That fall only looks good compared to the year-over-year decline, which was 34%. But remember that Toyota was the single biggest beneficiary of last year's Cash-for-Clunkers sell-a-thon.
When a niche vehicle like the FJ Cruiser is the only Toyota in positive territory, you know it's a bad month. Big declines for the Corolla/Matrix (-26%) and the Tundra (-22%) hurt the most.
Lexus was a bright spot, with most of the additional volume coming from the HS250h, despite moderate gas prices. The RX was the next-biggest contributor.
The new tC coupe can't get here fast enough, as all three Scion models were down again in August.