Ford Sales Up 4% in August with 20% Gain in SUV Sales

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Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) on Tuesday reported August sales increased by 4.1% year over year to 218,504 Ford and Lincoln vehicles, compared with August 2017 sales of 209,897. Passenger car sales fell 21.3% in the month while sport utility vehicle sales rose 20.1%.

Total retail sales rose 1.1% year over year in August to 165,794 units, and fleet sales jumped by 15.0% to 52,710 units. Truck sales rose 5.7% for the month, and sales of F-Series pickups increased by 6.3% to 81,839 units, the best total for the month since August 2005.

Ford’s passenger car sales continued tumbling in August but retail sales turned around after a 10% year-over-year drop in July. Sales of Ford brand SUVs rose nearly 21% in August, while Lincoln-brand SUVs posted a sales gain of nearly 15%.

Total monthly sales compare to an estimate of 202,000 by analysts at Cox Automotive. Kelley Blue Book estimated an average transaction price of $40,317, up 3.1% year over year but down 0.8% compared with July’s average selling price of $40,646. KBB transaction prices do not include applied consumer incentives.

Ford said its average transaction price for the month increased by $1,400. F-Series Super Duty transaction prices rose to a record $58,700 and high-trim level SUVs posted a year-over-year increase of $13,100 in transaction prices.

Truck sales comprised 46.7% of August sales, and the F-Series pickups accounted for 37.5% of total monthly sales. Both totals are higher than July levels.

Total Ford SUV sales jumped 20.6% year over year in August, with every model except the police interceptor posting a year-over-year sales gain. Expedition sales rose nearly 95% to 5,485 and Explorer sales were up more than 19% to 21,599 units. The company’s best-selling SUV, the Escape, posted sales of 24,395 units, up 3.2% year over year.

Ford-brand passenger car sales dropped by 21.3% year over year, with sales of Fusion down 35.1% and Fiesta down 7.3%. Focus sales dropped 30.1%. Mustang sales rose 35.3% to 7,487 units.

Sales of the Lincoln brand rose by 2.7% year over year in August as sales of Lincoln cars dropped 20.1%. Car sales totaled 2,406 units in the month, and SUV sales totaled 6,539 units, up by 14.8% year over year.

Ford reported 75 days of total inventory, unchanged compared with July and down from 81 in August of last year. Dealer stock totaled 60 days of supply, down from 63 days in July and from 67 last year.

Ford’s stock traded up about 0.3% Tuesday morning to $9.51. The 52-week range is $9.35 to $13.48, and the 12-month consensus price target is $11.00.