Sales at Ford Group Down 10.7 Percent for August

Automobile Staff
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Sales of Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles were down 10.7 percent from last August and down 5.2 percent from July 2010.

While the Cash for Clunkers gains from August of last year skew the results for year-to-year comparisons, Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury sales remain up 18.3 percent through the first eight months of the year.

Lincoln was the only brand to post an increase, at 9.4 percent, while Ford was down 10.7 percent and Mercury was off 22.5 percent over August 2009.

Ford's F-Series trucks continue to perform well, even in advance of the 2011 models' powertrain updates. The trucks are the only Ford model so far to surpass 300,000 sales this year.

Meanwhile, Mustang sales are down 25.6 percent from July to August. Even so, Ford notes that Mustang retail sales are up 15 percent. Ford also points out that the Taurus has become a hot seller, with more than twice as many sales year-to-date compared to last year.

Fusion sales are holding steady compared to July but are down 18.7 percent from last August, when the Focus actually sold 4537 units more than the Fusion.

SUVs were the Ford brand's weak spot this month, as sales were down 26.6 percent. The Flex, Explorer, and Expedition all saw sales drop at least 44 percent compared to last August. The Edge was the best performer here, only dropping sales to 8951 this month, or 17.5 percent lower than last August.

At Lincoln, we're guessing fleet sales were responsible for the 29.5 percent increase in Navigator sales and 194.6 percent increase in Town Car sales, compared to last August. Elsewhere, the new MKT sold 609 units (in July it managed 606) and the MKZ, MKS, and MKX were all down.

Soon to be phased out Mercury still sold 7040 units overall, including 2788 Grand Marquis sedans, only 1624 Milans, 2228 Mariners, and just 400 Mountaineers.

For the fourth quarter of 2010, Ford plans to produce 570,000 vehicles, the same as the third quarter of this year and almost identical to fourth quarter 2009 production of 574,000 vehicles.

"We continue to monitor the key economic indicators as we make adjustments," said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales, and Service.

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