Sales at Ford's three brands increased 19.2 percent over last October thanks to high F-150 and Fusion sales.
Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury were all up in October as well as through the first 10 months of the year. The Ford brand saw sales increase 20.6 percent with about a third of those sales F-150s. Lincoln was in the black compared to October 2009 by 1.5 percent. The all-but-dead Mercury brand was up in October by 12 percent.
In advance of the 2011 F-150's debut with four new engines, the 2010 model sold 49,041 units in October, up 24.2 percent from last October. The model should have no trouble passing the 500,000-unit mark for total 2010 sales. The Transit Connect saw a big boost in sales to 2577, 70.3 percent above last October. The Ranger still performs well, with a 13.7 percent sales increase over October 2009.
The Ranger may have outsold the Fiesta, but Ford is happy with the subcompact car's progress in the U.S. market, noting that it has a conquest rate of 62 percent, higher than any other Ford vehicle. October was the Fiesta's best month so far, with 3846 units leaving dealerships. Once the 2012 Focus rolls into showrooms next year, that compact sedan and hatch could continue the Fiesta's momentum.
The outgoing Focus was up 22.5 percent year-over-year. Fusion sales were up 29.1 percent to 17,362. Taurus was down in October, but year-to-date, sales have jumped 75.2 percent. In fact, every Ford car is up year-to-date except the discontinued Crown Victoria, which is down 2.9 percent.
Ford SUV sales held strong in October. The Expedition was about even with 2806 units, outselling the Flex, which was down 6.7 percent over October 2009. The Edge and Escape saw big sales increases, but the Explorer fell 19.7 percent before the new Explorer crossover takes the old SUV's place.
At Lincoln, the MKZ sedan was the best-seller and sales increased 11.4 percent year-over-year. Ford won't say how many fleet vehicles it sold in October but tells us the MKZ Hybrid -- priced the same as the regular model -- accounted for a fourth of 2011 model retail sales. The defunct Town Car had a 174.4 percent sales increase over last October. The Lincoln MKX crossover sold exactly as many units this October as last October. Elsewhere the picture isn't too good at Lincoln. The MKS was down 32.6 percent and the MKT was down 18.3 percent, with 506 units sold. Through the first 10 months of the year, the Navigator is actually up by 20.9 percent.
Mercury outsold Lincoln in October and year-to-date. As the dead brand coasts to a halt, Milan sales were up 43.3 percent and Mariner SUV sales increased 18.3 percent over October 2009. Panther enthusiasts/fleet customers snatched 1692 Grand Marquis sedans, down 22.2 percent from last October. Year-to-date, the Grand Marquis is still up 25 percent.
Will Ford and Lincoln be able to compensate for the eventual loss of Mercury's sales? Ken Czubay, Ford's vice president of U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service, seems to think it's possible with upcoming product launches.
"We are pleased to see Ford's momentum continue as we start the fourth quarter," Czubay said. "We have several key product launches ahead, such as the new F-150 powertrains, Explorer and Focus, and we plan to continue the new product momentum into 2011 and beyond."