"Fleet" is sort of a dirty word when describing vehicle sales, and the Detroit Three have traditionally been quite smitten with bulk buyers. Unfortunately fleet sales have been demonized for a reason. They can adversely affect resale values, and since fleet buyers tend to expect warehouse store pricing, they're obviously not great for the bottom line, either. But one automaker seems more than happy to sell to fleets: Ford.

Bloomberg reports that a larger percentage of Ford's overall sales are going to fleets, rising from 22 percent of in 2006 to 27 percent in 2011. Of those vehicles, 41 percent reportedly went to the likes of Hertz and Enterprise. That leaves the rest of the sales at the local, state and federal level, plus a smattering of commercial buyers. In other words, needy customers with cash in hand. And those buyers tend to want high-margin rides like trucks, crossovers and SUVs; vehicles Ford make money on.

Ford fleet director Kevin Koswick tells Bloomberg that the automaker knows what it's doing, adding "I don't see it as an issue as long as you manage your fleet and you're balanced in what you do."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 76 Comments
      Dark Gnat
      • 2 Years Ago
      This should help buyers score cheap used Fords in the near future.
      ctsmith1066
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ah yes, the great American market share pissing contest.
      Adorable
      • 2 Years Ago
      Obama has stolen billions from taxpapyers to pay for UAW made autos. Bravo socialism!
        XJ Yamaha
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Adorable
        Good Lord, look up what socialism is and then research how large of a market share private industry possesses within the United States. I guess I should stop driving my socialist car on these socialist roads and paying my socialist speeding tickets given by the socialist police officer to the socialist courts who send it right to the Czar himself. Too many stupid people with little mind power posting about things they don't fully understand because some political pundit or media outlet told them what to think.
        Camaroman101
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Adorable
        please keep this an auto enthusiast website and keep politics out
        Jesus!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Adorable
        I know this is no place for politics, but people wanted change, and they got it. Im neither a Rep or Demo, they are both nuts.
        ctsmith1066
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Adorable
        Ever heard of hyperbole?
      merlot066
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fleet sales are vastly different today than they were several years ago. Ford isn't pushing crap off their assembly lines and throwing on 5 grand rebates for consumers and even more for bulk rental buyers. The fact is that Ford makes great vehicles that are very popular among all three portions of fleet buyers. Right off the bat, Ford's percentage of fleet sales going to rental lots is 25% below average and behind GM, Chrysler, and Nissan. If you look a little closer, you'll see that a middle trim SE Automatic model from Ford is less than a comprable Chevy, Toyota, Honda, or even most Hyundais so because of price Fords would be popular rental vehicles despite the fact that most Fords are segment leaders now. Government sales are a huge part of Ford's fleet customer sales and with Ford all but owning the Taxi and Police Vehicle market, government sales have always made Ford's fleet percentage look larger. If government sales were a bad thing then you wouldn't see the big 3 fighting so hard to win over cops now that the Crown Vic is gone, so the fact that Ford has had huge government sales is a good thing as well. As for Commercial vehicles, that should be obvious. Ford's trucks make up the vast majority of commercial vehicles in the country. You may remember Ford releasing a chart a while back that showed how the F-series is the most popular vehicle choice in almost every segment of commercial work. Ford's sedans like the Focus, Fusion, Fusion Hybrid, Escape Hybrid, and Transit Connect (wel duh) are popular among commercial fleets and company cars for their reliability and fuel economy. I guess now that Ford is on top there will be even more people out there trying to throw stones, but the fact of the matter is Ford is making top-notch vehicles in every segment and they aren't desperately dumping them on fleet buyers at huge discounts as evidenced by the fact that Ford is posting huge (and/or record breaking) profits every quarter. Ford's rental percentage is 25% below the industry average, and they have models that are very popular with good fleet buyers (government and commercial). They have nothing to worry about.
        Dean Hammond
        • 2 Years Ago
        @merlot066
        what some fail to realize is that a lot a fleet vehicles are sold to large companies that actually make their choices based on overall cost of ownership, ( fuel economy , maintenance, durability etc )....and guess what?, they have choices of several manufacturers....so, based on that the selection of Ford products is a GOOD thing.......
        Randy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @merlot066
        Well written. You sir should be an Automotive news writer. Props to you!
          Need Mulally 4 Ford
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Randy
          Indeed, but to get a job at Autoblog you need to have more typos.
          billfrombuckhead
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Randy
          Hurricane Sergio is building up offshore to put some huge body blows on Ford's business model. Mopar's RAM division is going upgrade it's 2013 1500 pickup for a deadly attack on the F150. Already Chrysler 300 outsells the whole Lincoln lineup by itself. Grand Cherokee has become America's SUV. Charger has defeated the Taurus in just about every way possible. Dart is on the way to do the same to the Focus. Everyday more exciting rumors come out of Chrysler than any other manufacturer and every day they seem more realistic. A D-class Dodge rear wheel drive sedan on a Alfa Romeo platform?
          merlot066
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Randy
          Yes and Ford will be ready with a new F150 to blow the doors off the Ram in 2014. Like I said, the Lincoln lineup isn't anywhere near being in order. The Explorer is America's SUV as it has been for almost 20 years and the Charger and Taurus are completely different vehicles. The Taurus is geared towards Impala and Avalon buyers while the Charger is geared towards people who are looking for performance. I love the Charger, but saying that it is the end-all be-all of the full size car market is nonsense. The Focus is doing just fine. It isn't the best selling compact but it has gotten great reviews and has been selling better than the old model. Ford is sitting comfortably as the #1 brand in America with a full lineup of fuel-efficient, high quality vehicles and there is nothing wrong with that. Your obsession with Mopar doesn't have to come at the expense of another great American company so BACK OFF.
        carlotta
        • 1 Year Ago
        @merlot066
        No one ever accused Ford of being on top, except in fleet sales. Ford does inhabit the cellar of quality ratings however.
      BlackDynamiteOn
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford needs the fleet to make themselves look good. But it's all smoke and mirrors. Fusion is not a hit with retail buyers. Neither is Focus, or Taurus. Ford used to have 5 of the Top 10 sellers in America. Where did you go, Joe DiMaggio....... BD
        Will
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BlackDynamiteOn
        >Fusion and Focus > Not a hit with retail sellers Pick one.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      BlackDynamiteOn
      • 2 Years Ago
      Translation: Avis likes our cars. People not so much....... BD
        Chris
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BlackDynamiteOn
        Yeah, right!! Given the number of F-Series trucks, new Focuses, Fusions, Fiestas, and Mustangs I see on the road on a given day, I'd beg to differ.
          angryinch_2
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Chris
          So Chris, you see all these cars on the road, so your assumption is, they were a PRIVATE sale. Because if it was a fleet sale to a rental company, or a governement entity, they would be parked and never driven? Didn't a recent report peg Focus fleet sales at 45%. Chris, are you saying 45% of The Ford Focus are parked in storage?
          - v o c t u s -
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Chris
          Camaros, Cavaliers, Colorados, Corvettes... Care to guess what the first letter of the company behind those is? It's tradition based on many practical factors and many intangible perceptions.
          BlackDynamiteOn
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Chris
          Have another biscuit, Chris....... BD
          Chris
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Chris
          @M Lange Mustang has company in the name of Taurus, Edge, and Explorer. Taurus and Focus are cool sometimes, Fiesta has potential, but things just aren't quite as interesting without Thunderbird, Bronco, or GT around anymore. The likes of Tempo, Aerostar, and Pinto aren't really missed though.
          M Lange
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Chris
          Random observation: 4 out of 5 of those vehicle series begin with F... There's the Ford F-series, Ford Focus, Ford Fusion, Ford Fiesta, and the odd one out, the Ford Mustang This message brought to you by alliteration... and by the letter F.
          Chris
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Chris
          No, I am not assuming every Ford I see must be privately owned, and I live in the southeastern part of the country, not the Midwest. I am just stating that I see a lot of Fords on the road, mostly F-150s, Fusions, Focuses, Escapes, and Mustangs. It seems half the houses on my street have Fords in the driveways, so I know those aren't rentals. The fact of the matter is that roughly 27% of Fords are sold to fleets, meaning that the other 73% are private sales, so I think it is a safe estimate that the majority I see on a given day are not rentals.
      CB
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yeah, they are dumb. They sell cars for a profit to people willing to buy them. That's so stupid. They should just get billions of dollars for free from taxpayers instead.
        mybora99
        • 2 Years Ago
        @CB
        They did. They're what the good ol' government called incentives. Courtesy of the same tax payers.
      BlackDynamiteOn
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ford: "We're not greedy, we're just needy!" Fleet is good. Fleets works. Fleet cuts through, defines and captures. And fleet, you mark my words, ladies and gentlemen, will save that dying corporation called Ford Motor Company. Thank you. BD
        Phil B
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BlackDynamiteOn
        Hahaha bravo BlackDynamite! One of my all-time favorite movies. "It's not a question of enough, pal. It's a zero sum game -- somebody wins, somebody loses. Money itself isn't lost or made, it's simply transferred from one perception to another."
        Dean Hammond
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BlackDynamiteOn
        brainless...if Ford is dying how come their bottom line speaks otherwise....
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          Dean, you missed a reference here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Gekko#.22Greed_is_Good.22_quotation
      darkness
      • 2 Years Ago
      If this was GM you hoes would be screaming and punching your computers
        SatinSheetMetal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @darkness
        Why? I wouldn't mind renting a Cruze or Malibu, like I wouldn't mind renting a Fusion or Taurus. Thank god the Dodge Caliber is gone....
      BlackDynamiteOn
      • 2 Years Ago
      The back story is Chevy has actually done a good job selling vehicles like the Cruze, selling over 50k more cars, with less fleet. The market has accepted the Cruze. Ford Focus not so much...... Ford Fusion is important to Ford's overall bottom line, and it has been about 30% fleet for a while now. Same with vehicles like the Ford Escape. If Ford can get it's name in the paper enough as a top car producer, get into enough Top 10 sales lists, people may become brainwashed into thinking it's on par with the Accords, the Civics, the Camrys of the world. It's a lotta bit of slight of hand....... You know what they say. Fake it until you make it! Welcome to Ford. BD
        ctsmith1066
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BlackDynamiteOn
        And that's unfortunate, because the Focus is arguably the better car (especially with the 5-door option).
        Dean Hammond
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BlackDynamiteOn
        wait till you see Marchs sales numbers for the Focus.....hinderances were addressed, now dealers dont have enough of them....I could elaborate, but the numbers will speak for themselves.....hint, rebates and lease programs help substantially....
          BlackDynamiteOn
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          Cash on that hood never hurt car sales....... BD
          Dean Hammond
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dean Hammond
          no it didnt, it actually helps, the car is predominantly being leased, residuals ( indicative of resale ) are HIGH, payments are competitive with others comparable products and people are signing up for the better product...case closed, problem is dealers wont have any inventory come April.
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      There goes Gob'ment Motards going back to their old ways..... Oh wait... Never mind. /s
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