Ford (F), the healthiest of the Detroit Three is showing some signs of auto-industry improvement. The automaker reported an 11% drop in U.S. sales for June, which is believed to be the smallest decline by a major auto manufacturer in more than a year, as the company continued to boost its market share.
From Media Ford: Sales of the Ford Fusion were 18,561, a June sales record and up 26 percent versus a year ago. Ford Flex sales were 4,784, a record for any month since it hit dealerships in June 2008. Sales of the company’s hybrid vehicles totaled 3,649, a June sales record and up 91 percent versus a year ago.
Ford Mustang sales to retail customers nearly matched year-ago levels. The new 2010 Mustang, which debuted in May, achieved a 52 percent conquest rate in June – one of the highest for any Ford product.
At the end of June, Ford vehicle inventories totaled 343,000 (equivalent to 60 days’ supply). This level was 8,000 vehicles lower than at the end of May and 214,000 vehicles lower than a year ago.
Given tightly controlled inventories and higher-than-expected demand for its products, Ford announced plans to increase third-quarter production by 25,000 vehicles to 485,000, up 67,000 vehicles (16 percent) versus a year ago.
“We’re making steady progress and are firmly focused on our Plan to build a sustainable and exciting Ford,” said Jim Farley, Ford group vice president, Marketing and Communications. “We remain grounded, however, given challenging industry and economic conditions.”
Automakers are hoping annualized U.S. sales could hit 10 million this month for the first time in ’09, topping May’s 9.9 million rate.