Ford December Sales Drop 9% in December, 3.5% for the Full Year

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Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) on Thursday reported December sales fell by 8.8% year over year to 220,774 Ford and Lincoln vehicles, compared with December 2017 sales of 241,049. Passenger car sales fell 27.8% in the month while truck sales dropped 3.8% and sport utility vehicle sales fell 4.4%.

For the full year, total sales dropped by 3.5% to 2.5 million units. Passenger car sales fell 18.4%, while SUV sales rose 0.5% and truck sales rose 1.4%.

Total retail sales fell 4.8% year over year in December to 167,705 units, and fleet sales declined by 19.5% to 53,069 units. Sales of F-Series pickups fell 1.8% to 87,772 units for a record 10th straight month, when sales exceeded 70,000 units.

Ford’s passenger car sales tumbled further in December. Nearly five of six December sales came from SUVs, vans and trucks. Average transaction pricing came in at a record $38,400 for the month, up by $1,600 year over year.

Total monthly sales compared to an estimate of 230,000 by analysts Cox Automotive. Kelley Blue Book estimated an average transaction price of $40,256, down 1% year over year but up 0.5% compared with November’s average selling price of $40,056. KBB transaction prices do not include applied consumer incentives.

Ford sold 909,330 F-Series trucks in 2018, up 1.4% compared with 2017 sales. Full-year F-Series sales accounted for more than 36% of the company’s total sales for the year.

Truck sales comprised over 48% of December sales, and the F-Series pickups accounted for 36.4% of total monthly sales. Truck sales month over month were down 3.8%.

Total Ford SUV sales dropped 6.6% year over year in December, with Expedition sales up 14.6% to 6,253 and Explorer sales down by 22.8% to 19,586 units. The company’s best-selling SUV, the Escape, posted sales of 20,147 units in December, down 23.3% year over year for the month. Total SUV sales were up just 0.1% for the full year.

Ford-brand passenger car sales dropped by 28.9% year over year for the month, with sales of Fusion down 8.0% and Focus sales down 67.4%. Mustang sales dipped by 43.1% to 4,392 units, while Fiesta sales rose 17.8% to 4,309 units. For the full year, passenger car sales dropped 17.7%.

Sales of the Lincoln brand rose by 8.5% year over year in December, as sales of Lincoln cars dropped by 13.3%. Car sales totaled 3,044 units in the month and SUV sales totaled 8,482 units, up by 19.3% year over year. Navigator sales rose 43.6% to 2,073 units.

Ford reported 74 days of total inventory, 11 days fewer compared with November and up by six days compared with December of last year. Dealer stock totaled 59 days of supply, down from 67 days in November and up from 56 last year.

Ford’s stock traded down about 1.1% Thursday morning to $7.81. The stock’s 52-week range is $7.41 to $13.48, and the 12-month consensus price target is $9.97.

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