The Ford Motor Company has been on a roll – almost every model in its Ford brand has been overhauled or heavily refreshed in the past two years, and Lincoln is attempting to undergo a re-branding renaissance. One of those things seems to be working: Ford sales were up by 10.9 percent last month to 190,939, but Lincolns numbers tumbled by a hefty 29.4 percent to just 4883 vehicles. The automaker, overall, was up 9.3 percent in February to 195,822 units, and continues to be up year-to-date at 362,323 units – a 14.7-percent change over the same period in 2012.
Winner: Ford F-150 - There's little surprise that the Ford F-Series pickups (particularly the light-duty F-150) took the sales crown for the Blue Oval once again. According to the automaker, the 54,489 trucks it moved represented a 15.3-percent increase over February of last year and marks the F-Series' 19th consecutive month-over-month increases. Ford's non-heavy-duty trucks outsold the company's second-best selling Fusion sedan at a rate of almost two to one. February also marked the F-Series surpassing 100,000 sales for the 2013 calendar year: a total of 101,330 trucks have been sold year-to-date, an increase of 18 percent. However, it should be noted that Ford may have outsold the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra individually (the former moved 41,643 and the latter did 14,133 last month), General Motors sold a total of 55,776 pickup trucks between its two nameplates – just 1287 more than Ford sold.
Winner: Lincoln MKX - The MKX continues to be Lincoln's best-seller by a broad margin, although its sales numbers still remain fairly small. At just 1833 copies sold in February, the MKX was down 13.1 percent from the same month last year and down by 2.8 percent for the whole year at 3712 units. That said, the MKX made up almost half of Lincoln's February sales, and roughly a third of the brand's 9074 sales so far this year. While the MKX may have fallen short of its crosstown Cadillac SRX rival (which was also its brand's best seller at 4108 copies last month), there were still more copies of the crossover leaving Lincoln dealerships than there were MKZ and MKS sedans combined.
Loser: Ford Flex – While we may prefer the retro boxy Ford Flex over its more SUV-like Ford Escape mechanical twin, we're almost alone in our preference. Ford sold just 1662 Flexes last month (down 17.4 percent), and just 3277 copies so far this year (down 5.8 percent). The Explorer, which shares its platform, powertrain, and equipment with the Flex, saw big sales growth this month – it was up 58.9 percent last month to 16,586 units, is up 52.6 percent year-to-date at 31,140 units, and had the best February sales since 2006.
Loser: Lincoln MKT – If you thought things looked bad for the Flex, we don't recommend looking at its Lincoln twin, the MKT. The luxury three-row crossover sold just 511 copies in February, although that was up 21.4 percent from last year. However, the MKT is the only vehicle in Ford Motor Company's entire portfolio that has yet to sell 1000 units this year – YTD counts currently stand at a measly 922 units, which, sadly, is up 31.7 percent from the 700 Lincoln had sold in the first two months of 2012. To add insult to injury, the MKT crossover was outsold by the ancient Navigator body-on-frame SUV by 189 copies.
Too Close To Call: Ford Mustang – The ongoing battle between the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro rages on. Last month, Chevy eked out a win, but only by a slim, 147-unit margin; the Mustang sold 6024 copies, while the Camaro moved 6171. Chevy is currently winning against Ford in this battle – it has also sold 1464 more Camaros YTD than Ford has sold Mustangs – but Ford isn't resting on its laurels: the Blue Oval just rolled out mildly tweaked 2014 models last month and is also putting the finishing touches on the totally revamped 2015 Mustang. Chevrolet may have won this battle, but the war is far from over.
The Jury's Still Out: Lincoln MKZ – The 2013 MKZ is supposed to help reignite sales of Lincoln models, but, so far, it has yet to do that. The sedan may have been the brand's number-two seller last month at 945 cars, but it's clear that MKZ sales are still being hampered by production delays. The automaker has had delays in building the new car from The Lincoln Motor Company, and is actually moving production from Mexico to Michigan to keep better tabs on quality control. Check back later in the year to see if the new MKZ can help revitalize the Lincoln brand, or if it’s still heading for the same fate as Mercury.