’s U.S. sales in May jumped 13.3% compared with year-ago to 241,048 units, propelled by the booming housing and energy markets and strong demand from consumers on the East and West Coasts.
The Ford vice president-U.S. marketing, sales and service, says in a conference call with analysts and journalists.brand’s retail share has continued to grow on the two coasts, up a combined 2.5 points to 10.9% since 2008, Ken Czubay,
“That’s higher than any domestic brand and one point from,” he says, noting the Fusion midsize sedan and Escape cross/utility vehicle are its best-sellers on the coasts. “Fusion had its highest-ever retail share in California at 8%.”
Overall U.S. Fusion sales were up 10.0% in May, compared with year-ago, to 29,553 units, while Escape sales soared 26.2% to 29,123, according to WardsAuto data.
Czubay says Fusion deliveries would have been higher if not for capacity constraints in Mexico. Additional Fusion capacity will be added this fall to the auto maker’s Flat Rock, MI, assembly plant.
“Higher inventory would have led to higher sales,” Czubay says. “I’ve been on a tour of dealers and have been impressing upon them there will be a greater flow of vehicles, and they’re awaiting Flat Rock activation.”
Thanks to the recovering housing and energy markets, F-Series deliveries surged 28.3% last month compared with year-ago to 66,633 units, the fullsize pickups’ strongest May result since 2005 and its 22nd straight monthly sales increase.
“We’ve been anticipating the rise of the housing market and oil services,” Czubay says, noting demand also is being fueled by a pickup fleet more than 11 years old on average.
The small-car segment saw a strong month, with Focus C-car and Fiesta B-car deliveries up 9.7% and 10.0%, respectively.
Ford CUV sales were mixed, with the Edge rising 14.9% and Explorer jumping 15.9%. However, Flex deliveries plummeted 17.1%.
Mustang sales were off 15.6% to 8,797 units, but Czubay says Ford is not concerned about the drop. “We’re still seeing strong segment share with Mustang,” he says. “It was an excellent May for us, off a little bit from last year, but the best month since June of last year.”
A recent run of quality problems that have caused a long delay for the Lincoln MKZ sedan and a class-action lawsuit over issues with the 3.5L EcoBoost V-6 engine cannot be blamed on the number of new-vehicle launches or capacity increases, Czubay says. “We remain committed to quality, and when we catch an issue, be it supplier-related or whoever, we get on it immediately.”
Ford ended May with 558,000 light vehicles in inventory, including 137,000 utility vehicles, 258,000 trucks and 163,000 cars, equating to 59 days’ supply.