FORD MOTOR COMPANY +46% (excluding Volvo)
Last month, Ford sales slipped by less than the industry average, and that less-bad performance allowed it to pass Toyota and move into second place in the sales race. In September, Ford's much-better-than-average 46% sales increase over last year (and 2% gain over last month) put it solidly in second place, and should allow Ford, with 1.5 million vehicles year-to-date, to finish the year ahead of Toyota, which is now at 1.3 million. The new Fiesta has been getting lots of attention, but with Ford, it's impossible to have a good month of sales unless the F-series turns in a good performance, and that was the case here.
A 40% increase in F-series sales was huge, but the restyled Edge (+186%) also had a big month, as did the Transit Connect (+134%), albeit on lesser volume. All cars were in positive territory.
The Mariner and Mountaineer pushed Mercury into the plus column.
Like its Ford counterpart, the Lincoln MKX was strong in September (+76%), but so was the never-say-die Town Car (+149%).
TOYOTA MOTOR SALES +17%
Toyota's increase over last year was less than the market's overall. The figure would have been better, but both Lexus and Scion declined, dragging Toyota down a bit. As we saw at GM and Ford, trucks did better than cars.
Unlike GM's and Ford's big pickups, Toyota's Tundra (+10%), didn't participate fully in the truck surge this month. The news was better for the redesigned 4Runner (+437%) and the not-at-all-redesigned FJ Cruiser (+245%), which saw big gains off of last year's very weak numbers. With their higher volumes, the RAV4's jump (+41%) and the Sienna's (+54%) were a lot more meaningful. Meanwhile, the Camry almost exactly matched prior-month sales, and maintained its position as the bestselling car, just behind the Ford F-series and the Chevy Silverado pickup.
The GX followed the 4Runner with a big increase (+123%) over a small previous number, but more significant was a decline for the RX. The ES sedan was up (+21%) but the IS was down (-27%) and the HS was down even more (-43%). Still, the HS increased over last month and nearly tied the LS.
Scion continues to wait for fresh product -- and the new tC will be here soon.