Ford's March Car Sales Tanked

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) on Monday reported a U.S. sales decrease of 7% year over year in March, to 236,250 Ford and Lincoln vehicles, compared with March 2016 sales of 254,711. Passenger car sales plummeted 25.6% in the month of March.

Truck sales rose 2.5% for the month, and sales of F-Series pickups increased by 10.1%. Retail sales declined 2% in March to 157,740.

Total sales compare to an estimate of 234,000 by analysts Kelley Blue Book (KBB), who also estimated an average transaction price of $38,220, up 3.4% year over year and down 0.8% compared with February’s average selling price. KBB transaction prices do not include applied consumer incentives.

The company said its overall average transaction prices rose $1,800 year over year.

Sales of the Ford F-Series pickups rose 10.1% year over year in March to 81,330 units. In February Ford sold 65,956 F-Series trucks following a January sales total of 57,995.

Truck sales comprised about 45% of all Ford-brand sales in March, and the F-Series pickups accounted for about 36% of total Ford-brand March sales.

Sales of the company’s sport utility vehicles (SUVs) posted a year-over-year decrease of 3.2% in March, but the 25.6% decline in car sales is what caused the big total drop.

Ford Fiesta sales rose 20.6% year over year, but no other car posted a gain. Fusion sales were down 36.8% and Mustang sales fell 27.4% year over year.

Sales of the Lincoln brand fell 1.4% year over year in March as sales of Lincoln cars rose 6.2% on sales of the all-new Lincoln Continental. Car sales totaled 3,464 units in the month and utility vehicle sales totaled 6,090 units. SUV sales fell 5.3% year over year in March.

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), which shipped 25,000 units in the first three months of 2017, now has a larger market cap than Ford.

Ford’s stock traded down about 2.6% about an hour after Monday’s opening bell, at $11.34 in a 52-week range of $11.07 to $14.22, and the 12-month consensus price target is $13.18.