Ford Pickup Sales at Highest Level in 15 Years

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Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) on Thursday reported first-quarter sales fell by 1.6% year over year to 590,249 Ford and Lincoln vehicles, compared with first-quarter 2018 sales of 599,581. Passenger car sales fell 23.7% in the month while truck sales rose by 4.1% and sport utility vehicle sales rose 5.0%.

Sales of F-Series pickups rose by 0.2% to 214,611 units to average more than 70,000 per month. The all-new Ranger accounted for 9,421 units in the quarter, lifting the company’s total pickup sales to the highest level in 15 years.

Ford-brand passenger car sales tumbled 24.1% in the first quarter and Lincoln-brand sales fell 16.6%. More than nine of 10 first-quarter sales came from SUVs, vans and trucks. Average transaction pricing for the F-Series rose to $47,454.

Total monthly sales compare to an estimate of 596,794 by analysts at Cox Automotive. Kelley Blue Book estimated an average transaction price for all vehicles of $41,574, up 5.3% year over year but down 0.8% compared with February’s average selling price of $41,905. Kelley Blue Book transaction prices do not include applied consumer incentives.

F-Series sales accounted for more than 36% of the company’s total sales for the quarter.

Total Ford SUV sales were up 5% year over year in the quarter, with Expedition sales up 61.9% to 21,773 and Explorer sales down by 1.5% to 53,306 units. The company’s best-selling SUV, the Escape, posted sales of 60,702 units in the quarter, down 9.9% year over year.

First-quarter Fusion sales of Fusion dropped 3.5% year over year and Focus sales fell 70.5%. Mustang sales dipped by 11.7% to 16,917 units, while Fiesta sales rose 29.6% to 15,943 units.

Sales of the Lincoln brand rose by 11.2% year over year in the first quarter as sales of Lincoln cars dropped by 16.6%. Car sales totaled 5,642 units in the quarter and SUV sales totaled 19,333 units, up by 23.2% year over year. Navigator sales rose 10% to 4,469 units.

Ford’s stock traded up about 1.5% Thursday morning to $9.27. The stock’s 52-week range is $7.41 to $12.15, and the 12-month consensus price target is $9.51.

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