Sales of Ford Motor Company products jumped 5.7 percent in March 2013, but you won't find the major increases in the car division. Instead, the big sales in FoMoCo's stable came from utilities and trucks last month. Here are some of the winners and losers:
Winner: Ford F-Series
We know that it's cliché to say that the Ford F-Series is one of the big winners on the sales sheet, but the truck line jumped 16.3 percent last month to finish at 67,513 sales. With 168,843 units sold so far this year, the truck is up some 17.4 percent year-to-date. The F-Series' gains were enough to erase loses in the E-Series (down8.1 percent) and Ranger (discontinued last year): Ford trucks closed last month up 6.0 percent in all.
Winner: Ford Escape
Ford's second model with its best-ever month was the Escape, which sold 28,934 units--27.6 percent more than last year. So far this year, the swoopy Escape is up 24.5 percent on the old, boxier one.
Winner: Ford Explorer
Ford's Escape had a good showing on the sales sheet, but the most-improved SUV last month was the Explorer. Sales of the mid-size crossover jumped 32.5 percent to 17,509 units, more than enough to cancel out losses by the Ford Edge, which stumbled 13.0 percent.
Winner: Ford Fusion
All hail the Ford Fusion: it was one of two Ford models to set all-time sales records last month. The newly redesigned mid-size sedan sold some 30,284 units, 6.0-percent more than the same time last year. All in all the Fusion is up 26.0 percent year to date, an impressive showing for the car.
Loser: Ford Focus
The Focus is still selling well--Ford sold 24,929 of them last month--but sales slipped 11.9 percent last month, and the model is down 6.3 percent on the year. In the same time period, the smaller Fiesta was up 3.3 percent.
Loser: Ford Edge
Sales of the Edge were down 13.0 percent last month, down to 12,237 units, and the crossover is down 4.2 percent so far this year. Thankfully the Escape and Explorer's big gains were enough to cancel out the Edge's losses: overall, Ford's utilities were up 15.4 percent last month. The Edge is also the oldest crossover in Ford's lineup, but is slated to be replaced with an all-new model in the next 12 months.
Loser: Ford Mustang
Blame it on an especially long, cold winter: the Mustang slipped 15.0 percent last month to 7688 units sold. The model is down 14.0 percent so far this year. The Mustang just barely beat out the Dodge Challenger, which sold 6132units last month; however, the Mustang was down 414 units to its crosstown rival, the Chevrolet Camaro.
If naming the F-Series "a winner" is cliché, so is naming Lincoln "a loser," but this month seemed especially bad for the brand. Lincoln sold just 6825 units last month, 22.5 percent off of the same time last year. The blame can be spread wherever you'd like: all five of the brand's models were down last month, including the MKZ (down 19.5 percent to 2360 sales), MKS (down 45.3 percent to 924 sales), MKX (down 9.8 percent to 2354 sales), MKT (down 27.3 percent to 571 sales), and Navigator (down 4.3 percent to 616 sales). All in all the brand is down 23.7 percent year-to-date. Now that the automaker has dealt with production shortages of the 2013 MKZ, maybe Lincoln sales will pick up.