Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) continues to struggle with a turnaround that has extended almost two years. Sales of its top 10 vehicles in the United States are essential to its financial future. Those sales results are mixed, looked at model by model.
Ford announced earnings that showed the turnaround has not worked so far. Fourth-quarter revenue rose only 1% to $41.8 billion. The U.S. car manufacturer said it lost $0.1 billion. And Ford management said that North American sales were strong. Those in Europe and China were troubled though. China has been Ford’s Achilles’ heel for some time.
In the United States, by far the largest part of Ford’s North American operations, 10 vehicles make up most of its sales, which dropped 3.5% in total to 2,497,318 in 2018. Among these are Ford’s F-Series pickups, which have been the best-selling vehicle in the United States for 42 years. F-Series sales last year were higher by 1.4% to 909,330. The F-Series makes up 36% of Ford’s sales in the United States. It competes against the Chevy Silverado and FCA’s Ram, which are also among the top-selling vehicles in the United States.
Ford’s next best-selling vehicle in the United States is its small Escape crossover, which competes in one of the most crowded car segments in America. And it had a tough year in 2018. Sales dropped 11.7% to 272,228. Sales of the third best-selling car, the Explorer sport utility vehicle, also fell, down 4.3% to 227,732. Next on the list in terms of sales, Fusion with 173,600, down 17.2%. The midsized car is one that Ford has killed in the United States. Ford’s fifth best-selling vehicle is the Transit, a cargo van used mostly by businesses. Its sales rose 8.2% to 137,794, but it is a niche product.
Ford’s sixth best-selling vehicle in the United States is also in trouble. The midsized Edge crossover had sales of 134,122, down 5.9%. Ford’s seventh best-selling vehicle, the Focus had sales of 113,345, a plunge of 28.4%. It is one of Ford’s least expensive cars. In eighth place, sales of the enormous Expedition SUV were 54,661, up 5.4%. In ninth place, sales of the EcoSport were 54,348. The crossover was not available last year. And landing at the number 10 spot, the Ford Fiesta, another of its economy cars. Sales jumped 11.9% to 51,730 last year, but that is less than 6% of the F-Series sales total.
Looked at model by model, the vehicles that are essential for Ford’s U.S. sales are not doing very well, which is terrible news for its turnaround effort.