Ford followed a healthy October with a second strong month of sales in November, gaining 6.9% on a daily sales basis compared with year-ago deliveries, driven by strong demand for SUVs and vans and a surprising jump in Focus deliveries.

WardsAuto data shows Ford delivered 205,022 light vehicles in the month, including 160,038 trucks and SUVs and 44,984 cars, equating to a daily sales rate increase of 8.4% for trucks and a 2.0% gain for cars. There were 25 selling days in the month, same as a year ago.

Overall, the Ford brand saw a 7.6% increase while Lincoln dipped 5.5%.

The Dearborn automaker saw double-digit leaps for the Edge (22.5%), Explorer (22.8%) and Flex (21.7%) SUVs, followed by Escape at 9.1%.

The Lincoln Navigator recorded an 81.7% spike on sales of the outgoing ’17 model now being replaced by an all-new ’18 model, while a 50-50 mix of ’17 and ’18 Expeditions saw a 24.1% decline.

The Transit large commercial van posted 10,852 deliveries, a 47.1% increase, while the small Transit Connect chipped in 2,920 sales (+7.3%).

Although the car business continues to struggle across nearly every segment, including luxury models, Ford saw bright spots in sales of the Focus (+44.9%), Fiesta (+6.6%) and Mustang (+8.5%).

Lincoln’s flagship Continental luxury sedan fell 35%, its second monthly double-digit decline, a result Mark LaNeve, vice president-U.S. marketing, sales and service, attributes to declines in the luxury-car segment as well as a comparison to high year-ago deliveries when the new model launched.

Ford’s key F-Series dipped 0.3% for the month on 67,586 light-duty deliveries, however LaNeve notes overall F-Series volume, including medium- and heavy-duty pickups, achieved its best result since 2001 and that demand for high-trim models remains strong.

Ford ended November with 659,976 vehicles in stock, equal to a 78-days’ supply, up from 636,907 (79 days) at the end of October and up slightly from 654,061 (83) year-ago. Car inventory stood at a 79-day supply, with utilities at 68 days and trucks at 86.

Pacifica, Compass Gains Slow FCA Skid

FCA US posted a 3.6% daily sales decline, with dips by Jeep (-1.9%) and Ram (-4.6%) brands offset by a 13.7% gain in Chrysler deliveries, primarily fueled by demand for the Pacifica minivan.

The Pacifica saw a 50.7% increase on 13.195 deliveries in November and a doubling of year-to-date sales to 107,130 vehicles. The Pacifica replaced the Town & Country minivan and soon will be the sole FCA minivan on the market as production of the previous-generation Dodge Caravan winds down.

Although Jeep sales were off primarily due to lost Patriot volume, the all-new Compass (replacing the previous-generation Patriot/Compass) surged 34.1% and the Cherokee small SUV gained 44.2%.

The Ram brand was hurt by a 45.7% swoon in Promaster van sales while the Ram pickup was essentially flat for the month. The Promaster City small van saw a 21.3% increase.

Fiat continues to struggle, dropping 28.2% with a 32.3% hike in 500L sales as the lone bright spot. The Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan and the Stelvio SUV accounted for all but 27 of the brand’s 1,440 deliveries  

FCA continues to ditch fleet sales, recording a 25% decline for the month on deliveries of 25,380 units, including a 75% cut in Jeep fleet volume. Fleet sales represented 16% of the automaker’s November sales, the company reports.  

bgritzinger@wardsauto.com @bobgritzinger