Ford Motor Company finished 2014 with sales down 0.5 percent compared to 2013, although in December sales rose 1.2 percent year-over-year. For the entire year, the Ford brand saw its sales slip 1.1 percent while the Lincoln Motor Company posted a 15.6-percent gain compared to 2013. Ford says that it expected sales to remain flat in 2014 because the switch to the new 2015 Ford F-150 hurt truck sales, and also because the automaker reduced its sales to rental-car fleets by 15 percent.
Several Ford products set new records in 2014. The Ford Escape and Fusion posted their best-ever full-year sales figures, while the Explorer posted its best annual sales since 2005. The Lincoln Motor Company enjoyed its best December sales since 2009 and its best full-year sales since 2008.
Winner: Ford F-Series, 74,355 December/753,851 full-year sales
Although Ford F-Series truck sales slipped by 0.3 percent in December and by 1.3 percent for 2014, the truck remained America’s most popular vehicle. The sales slip occurred as Ford switches to the new 2015 Ford F-150, but full-year F-Series sales still beat out of those of the Ram truck line (439,789 sales) and the combined Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra (741,588). As production and availability of the 2015 Ford F-150 ramps up early this year, look for continuing strong Ford truck sales.
Winner: Ford Escape, 25,603/306,212 sales
The Ford Escape’s December and full-year gains — 4.7 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively — may look small, but with a total of 306,212 models sold last year, the Escape was Ford’s third best-selling car, trailing only the F-Series and the Fusion midsize sedan. Overall, crossovers and SUVs represented Ford’s most stable growth area, with volumes up 1.7 percent compared to 2014.
Winner: Ford Mustang, 9,511/82,635 sales
It may have a small number overall, but the newest pony car has been an early success. The launch of the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang has already bolstered the nameplate’s sales figures, with volumes up 66.1 percent in December and up 7.1 percent year-over-year for all of 2014. Despite those gains, the Ford Mustang didn’t manage to outsell the Chevrolet Camaro, which racked up 86,297 sales last year, but it did outpace the Dodge Challenger (51,462 sales). With the Ford Mustang now on sale across the entire U.S., look for sales to pick up this spring and summer.
Winner: Ford Explorer, 16,632/189,339 sales
The Explorer also helped Ford’s crossover sales gains. Though it can’t match the volumes of the Escape, the Ford Explorer was still Ford’s second best-selling crossover and outsold the smaller Edge, as well as the full-size Expedition. With a refreshed model going on sale early this year, expect the Ford Explorer to post even stronger numbers for 2015.
Wait and See: Lincoln Motor Company, up 15.6 percent for the year
It’s been a mixed year for Lincoln, and the MKS sedan and MKT both saw sales fall by more than 20 percent this year. Yet the Lincoln MKZ midsize sedan posted a 5.1-percent sales gain, selling 34,009 cars in 2014, and the all-new Lincoln MKC crossover posted 13,077 sales despite only being on sale for a few months of the year. With strong customer interest in the MKZ and MKC, and a new Lincoln MKX launching at the Detroit auto show, Lincoln sales could see more growth this year.
Loser: Ford Cars, down 3.8 percent for the year
Cars continue to be a sore sport for Ford, and small cars are the worst offenders. Ford Fiesta sales dropped 16.8 percent in December, bringing the subcompact’s yearly sales total down by 11.1 percent compared to 2013. The Focus saw its sales slip 4.4 last month and 6.4 percent in all of 2014 — although at 219,634 annual sales, it’s still one of Ford’s most popular vehicles. The Ford Fusion midsizer posted a 5.1-percent sales drop in December, but overall it finished the year with volumes up 3.9 percent versus 2013. Still, Ford’s sales volume now very clearly comes from crossovers and trucks rather than traditional passenger cars.
Loser: Ford Taurus, 3,061/52,395 sales
Ford Taurus sales continue to tumble. The large sedan’s volumes fell 5.1 percent last month, bringing the model’s yearly sales collapse to a 24.1-percent decline versus all of 2013. It still outsold several other Ford models, however, including the C-Max hybrid, Flex crossover, and Expedition SUV.