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By most accounts, Ford had a pretty good first quarter. Sales were up 37 percent versus the first three months of 2009, and The Blue Oval's market share rose an impressive 2.7 percentage points during the period. According to a report in USA Today, Ford President Mark Fields says that the extra showroom traffic led to added revenue for the company. And while added revenue doesn't always translate into increased profits, the extra cash generated by increased sales makes an "in the black" first quarter far more likely. If Ford does manage a profit in the first quarter, it would mark the fourth consecutive period of cash gains for the Dearborn, MI-based automaker. Impressive, considering Ford lost nearly $15 billion in 2008.

The sales gains at Ford were realized mostly from the sale of Blue Oval-badged cars, trucks and crossovers. Lincoln and Mercury didn't see much in the way of gains, but USA Today quotes Ford analyst George Pipas as saying most of the marketing money was spent on Ford, adding "If we were going to fix the business, we had to fix the Ford brand, because that's where we had the best chance of getting a return."

The Ford vehicle that realized the most gains in the first quarter was the Fusion. Ford's mid-size sedan saw an 81 percent increase in sales compared to the first three months of 2009. Ford also increased its share of the pickup truck market. The profit-rich F-Series increased its overall share of the truck market to 38.5 percent, up 5.3 percent year-over-year. Ford is expected to announce official first quarter earnings later in the month.

[Source: USA Today | Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      skitcat, Ford's fleet sales were up 53% last month per Ford.


      You work for Ford, I would think that you would have access to this information.

      Ford (and GM) drastically cutting fleet sales is a myth, they use them to paid their monthly sales numbers. The Asians have a much higher percentage of actual retail sales, especially Toyota. And that's after all the bad news and American car fan/government drum-beating over UA.

      I also didn't say Buick is on a road to recovery, I doubt that brand will ever recover. But the vehicles sure are getting vastly nicer. Nicer than all Mercury and most Lincoln products.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Umm... two problems...
        1. This time last year when the economy was still in a downward spiral fleet sales were almost zero (people weren't traveling as much so rental companies didn't need to replenish their fleets, and normal commercial fleet buyers were busy firing all their workers so they didn't need to replenish their fleets anyway.
        2. You Ford haters and your selective vision "Ford's retail market share was up 17 out of the past 18 months".............. FAIL

        So fleet sales were up 53% from... dismal near-zero levels, and retail sales were up almost as much and Ford's RETAIL market share increased for another month, making it the 17th month out of the past 18 months that it's increased (Ford's retail market share increased another 2.7% in Q1 of this year)

        So... suck it!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Jeez, what part of "dismal fleet sales in 2009" are you not understanding?
        Using simple numbers for you; If fleet sales were 5 in 2009 and retail sales were 100, total sales for January 2009 would be 105. If January this year ford sold 11 cars to fleets and 150 cars to retail customers their sales would be 161 with fleet sales of 7%.
        Also you must consider Ford's lineup and also remember that "fleet" doesn't always mean rental. For example if you are a contractor that needs to buy 10 trucks for your employees, you'd probably go with the best selling for 33-straight years, best payload, best towing, and all around best truck F-150. Ford sold like 3,000 Transit Connects, how many of those do you think were to retail customers? Ford also has some obvious duds in their lineup like the Focus and Explorer that are commonplace among rental lots and company car fleets. So stop being a tool.
        • 5 Years Ago

        The firm’s January sales rose 24.6% to 116,543 from 93,506. That includes 4,128 Volvos sold last month. Fleet sales represented more than 100% of the improvement in Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury units sold.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Good on Ford. With the upcoming Fiesta and the new Focus it sounds like they are gonna clean up for the next few years!
      • 5 Years Ago
      See this is how you profit without a bailout.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Got to make money to pay off all those debts they picked up at just the right time.

        I'm still confused that homeowners who overleveraged their homes are partially considered the cause for the housing crisis and current bad economy, but Ford, which did largely the exact same thing, but on a much larger level is looked at as the good kid.

        Remember that Ford mortgaged everything they could get their hands on, even down to the Blue Oval itself. They're just lucky that everything has been working out for them or they'd be in just as much hurt as the millions of foreclosed homeowners across the country.

        That said, I'm not trying to state that Chrylser or GM are better than Ford, just that Ford is not as goodie goodie as it's made out to be either.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A huge portion of the Fusion's rise is not retail customers, it's fleets (like Ford's overall sales). The Asian companies with the exception of Hyundai all have much more retail customers.

      I also agree with Luis. The Fusion is very average. It has nice styling but inside it leaves a bit to be desired.

      It goes without saying that Lincoln and Mercury are afterthoughts. Even Buick has arguably nicer vehicles at better prices than Lincoln does now. Mercury should (and will be eventually) dead.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome Ford is.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Your comments about fleet vs. retail sales is astoundingly ignorant. Ford has dramatically slashed fleet sales to help residual values. How do I know? I work for Ford. Show me the data instead of your made up "facts."
        • 5 Years Ago
        Imagine that! You don't like the way Ford handles business. I wouldn't have guessed. My Ford stock lets me know everyday that they're heading in the right direction.

        Although I do agree that Buick is on currently on the fast track to recovery, but Buick is a small part of GM's business compared to Chevy. Chevy is still a step slow comparitively. Ford is doing the right thing by bolstering their main brand before they hit the smaller segments.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @TriShiled: You should post here as HalfStar...
        ...or not at all. :P
      • 5 Years Ago
      Keep up the good work,Ford.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This might surprise some of you "only guys trying to look cool buy trucks," types, but out here in the real world, people actually do work with trucks. They have ATV's that they haul with trucks. They have travel trailers and boats that they haul with trucks. They get hay for their horses, and haul their horse trailer to events.

      Tell the oil worker, contractor, landscaper, farmer, rancher, and recreational user, that they do not need a truck.

      I have a truck as my daily driver. My truck was bought to fulfill many needs, one of which was to tow my travel trailer. I drive appx 8000 miles a year. I guarantee you, that the majority of people, with their cars that get 17-24 in town (where most driving occurs), are driving alot more than I am. Who has a bigger impact on oil usage?? The 10-11mpg truck, that is driven 8000 miles a year, or the 17-20mpg car, that is driven 20,000 miles a year??

      BTW those pedestrians do not care if they are run over by a truck, or a car. 3000lbs does not hurt less than 6000lbs. You are just as injured, or just as dead.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is there press gag from Obama to not to report anything on Chrysler, considering how bad last month's sales and how likely it was it will need yet another bailout not a peep was mentioned by US MSM.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can see that you haven't been to all of Europe... I see more than a few pick-up trucks (& big honkin' SUVs) every day, used for work and for pleasure. In fact, one of my best friend drives an F-150 and the heaviest thing he's ever hauled was his own ass.
      • 5 Years Ago
      just wait until the new fiesta and focus come out!

        • 5 Years Ago
        I know right? Ford is seriously kicking butt. I would give $50,000 for a new Shelby GT500!
      • 5 Years Ago
      TriShield's just not very good with stats.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm glad to see Ford (the brand) is doing well, but Ford (the company) really needs to step up on Lincoln. Seems like Ford is positioning Lincoln like Audi where 80% of their lineup is based off a VW. But if you ask most people, very few would cross shop an Audi and a VW despite them being very similar. I don't know if Ford can make that claim with Lincoln.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "If we were going to fix the business, we had to fix the Ford brand, because that's where we had the best chance of getting a return."

        This is sound business advice. Lincoln will get it's day, but just not now- Ford needs to get their core brands running smoothly before it starts addressing its niche brands. They are learning from GMs mistakes by sinking a lot of money into Cadillac before Chevy was standing on its own.

        I tend to look at it this way- would you add a solarium to a piece of crap house? No, first you fix up the house THEN you add the solarium. That is what Ford is doing here.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly. Lincoln's own slogan is "Reach Higher". Yet they aren't reaching for anything. I've said it before, they should be a different kind of luxury brand, a minimalist luxury brand, with focus on comfort more than convenience, styling rather than tech.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Strong F-150 sales should be a suprise to no one.

      What is good to read is that the Fusion is selling so well. This is a fiercely competitive market segment with many users programmed to only consider offerings from Toyota, Honda or Nissan. Doing well here pays dividends now, but also shows that there may be a cultural change in the mindset of the buyer.
        • 5 Years Ago

        But then again, don't you think nearly all American cars are junk compared to foreign cars?
        • 5 Years Ago

        Compared to a Camry or Accord? I've been in the Fusion, Camry, and the Accord. The interiors in the Camry and Accord are nothing to write home about.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This is GREAT news and when you consider the Fusion is built by very cheap labor in Mexico and its platform cost is spread across the Milan, MKZ, Edge and MKX cuv's... this platform will pay big profits to Ford...Plus the big profits they also make on the F-series trucks (F150 and Super Duties)... gonna be a big Q1 for Ford (F).

        No wonder CEO Alan Mulally calls Ford a "Turbo Machine" because he nows how much incremental profit they can generate with incremental sales increase up to 11+M units... seeing fixed costs are covered (break-even) at less than 9M unit volume in the industry...!!!

        You gotta own (F)... no wonder its up over 4% today...!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I bought a LOT of Ford stock when it was under $3. I'm a lucky guy. =)
        • 5 Years Ago
        HOLY $#!T The 2011 Explorer is finally getting 21-century adjustable traction control!!!


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