Citing difficult winter weather conditions that impacted retail sales and fleet deliveries, Ford Motor Company reported a 7 percent drop in January sales compared to 2013. January 2014 sales totaled 154,644 vehicles, with a 5 percent decrease in retail sales which came in at 113,721 vehicles. Car sales in particular took a major hit, showing a 13.4 percent loss compared to a 2.2 percent loss in truck sales. Surprisingly, Lincoln posted a 43 percent sales gain in the face of Ford’s struggles. It was the best January for Lincoln sales in four years, with 5,973 vehicles sold.
Winner: Lincoln MKZ, 2,122 units sold, up 368.4 percent
While the Lincoln MKZ’s 368.4 percent gain is really more of a reflection of the dismal 453 units sold in January 2013, the sedan’s 2,122 vehicles sold last month represent a decent start to 2014 considering how car sales fell off nearly across the board. Lincoln sold 2,823 vehicles in December 2013, which shows that the MKZ is at least hanging in there despite the nasty weather in January. The Lincoln MKS, on the other hand, performed 30 percent worse than last year, selling just 635 vehicles in January 2014.
Winner: Lincoln MKX, 2,479 units sold, up 35.5 percent
The Lincoln MKX showed promising growth compared to this time last year, finishing the month as the only Lincoln SUV to post a sales gain. December 2013 sales were 2,547, showing that the MKX has remained somewhat consistent amidst losses elsewhere in the Ford and Lincoln brands. Lincoln hopes to see the refreshed Lincoln Navigator perform better than it has recently, having sold just 375 units in January 2014.
Wait and See: Ford Mustang, 3,881 units sold, up 7.6 percent
With the new 2015 Ford Mustang on the horizon, Ford dealers are hard at work trying to move current-generation models. High incentives are going to be the biggest strategy to get Ford Mustangs off dealer lots, with many Mustang enthusiasts likely to hold out for the next-generation model that goes on sale later this year. Although Mustang sales were slightly up compared to January 2013, the best beginning-of-year performance since 2010 for the rear-wheel-drive coupe, it could prove increasingly difficult for Ford to sell Mustang models as the on-sale date for the 2015 Ford Mustang approaches.
Loser: Ford Focus, 12,003 units sold, down 25.7 percent
Ford cars struggled mightily in January 2014, resulting in a 16.3 percent decrease to 45,894 cars sold company-wide. The Ford Focus sold significantly worse than last year, down 25.7 percent from the 16,161 vehicles sold in January 2013. If Ford’s announcement that it was hurt by winter weather issues is to be believed, it is no surprise that the front-wheel-drive Focus compact was not a popular choice. Truck sales were reasonably steady in comparison to car sales, with the Ford F-150 falling just 0.7 percent.
Loser: Ford Taurus, 3,033 units sold, down 38.5 percent
Ford has as of late struggled with its full-size Taurus, and things are not looking any better for 2014. The Ford Taurus, down 38.5 percent, was outsold this month by the aging Chrysler 300, which sold 3,145 vehicles. By contrast, the new Chevrolet Impala far outsold its competitors, selling 11,898 units in January 2014. Even with the addition of Ford Police Interceptor sales of 680 vehicles, itself down 3.4 percent, the Ford Taurus isn’t even knocking on the Impala’s door.