sales were up 2.2% in June compared with year-ago on a daily-rate basis to 217,119, resulting in a 1 point loss in U.S. market share from May’s 15.5%, according to WardsAuto data.
Despite the small uptick, several of the automaker’s most popular models saw sales decline last month, including the F-Series pickup and Escape CUV.
F-Series deliveries in June fell 3.3% to 56,283, an unusual dip for one of the historically strongest-selling pickups in the segment.
John Felice, vice president-U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service, says incentives on the F-Series were down $800 compared with year-ago as the automaker works to manage inventory levels of the current model as it transitions to the updated aluminum-intensive version coming later this year.
The F-Series has “the highest average-transaction prices and lowest incentives (in the segment),” Felice says in a conference call with reporters and analysts. “We’re managing inventories very carefully and are right on the guide path.”
The F-Series retained the top spot in the fullsize U.S. pickup segment, beating out the second-place Chevrolet Silverado, which posted 43,519 deliveries for the month, according to WardsAuto data.
Escape deliveries in June were off 5.2% vs. like-2013 to 25,110 units. Felice says the decline was entirely due to a massive 57% reduction in fleet sales, which is in line with Ford’s current strategy to reduce fleet deliveries.
“Demand (for the Escape) is so strong we’re pushing that into the retail channel,” he says. “Escape had great retail sales in June, up 9%.”
Ford Edge deliveries took a 22.6% nosedive in June to just 9,700 units due to the impending launch of an all-new version that required brief shutdowns at the Oakville, ON, Canada, plant where the CUV is assembled.
“As we’re preparing for (the new model) we were down a week in March and the first week of April, as well as June 30-July 18. We’re managing volume in the marketplace for the changeover.”
In addition to F-Series, Escape and Edge, several other key nameplates posted declines in June, including the Ford Fiesta B-car (down 25.3%), Mustang (10.5%) and Taurus D-car (17.5%).
The closely watched Lincoln luxury division posted a June sales increase of 5.4% vs. year-ago to 7,271. June marked the first month of sales for the all-new ’15 Lincoln MKC CUV, which is in the midst of building up inventory.
“Dealers are encouraged by the enthusiasm for the MKC,” Felice says, noting 684 units were delivered last month. “Early data suggests it’s selling briskly, but we have just 10 days’ supply on lots, so inventory is tight. We currently have 380 (units) on lots and 689 en route.”
Ford ended June with 643,000 light vehicles in inventory, including 143,000 utility vehicles, 312,000 trucks and 188,000 cars, equating to 72 days’ supply overall.