Ford Slows, Lincoln Grows in January

Ford Escape

January proved to be a trying month for some — but not all — automakers in the United States, as severe weather did an effective job at dissuading many from purchasing new vehicles. For Ford, the Michigan-based company experienced a little bit of each side.

The Ford nameplate itself had a difficult month, falling 8.4 percent versus the January of 2013.  The popular Fusion sedan slid 7.5 percent to 20,717 and the Taurus dropped 38.5 percent to 3,033, though the Mustang was a bright spot with a 7.6 percent gain to 3,881.

SUVs and crossovers — a reliable sales stronghold over the last couple of years — struggled too. The Explorer dipped 19.6 percent to 11,696, the Escape crossover fell 2.4 percent to 19,459, and the F-Series pickups slid slightly, down 0.7 percent to 46,536. But while the Blue Oval had seen some better months, Lincoln hasn’t seen a month quite like January in some time.

Lincoln MKS

Sales of Lincoln shot up 43 percent, for the best performance that the brand has seen in four years, with 5,973 vehicles sold. The MKZ sedan moved 2,122 vehicles, up 368 percent, and the Lincoln MKX crossover sold 2,479 vehicles during the period, up 36 percent.

“Given the difficult weather in our largest sales regions, we are fortunate to have held in at retail as well as we did,” said John Felice, who is the Ford vice president for the U.S. marketing, sales, and service in a statement. “In areas where the weather was good, such as in the West, sales were up. The poor weather also had an impact on the timing of some of our fleet deliveries. A bright spot is Lincoln, which had its strongest sales in four years.”

Overall, retail sales of 113,721 vehicles were down 5 percent, and total sales – 154,644 vehicles, including the struggling fleet sales fell shy of the 166,501 vehicles sold last year, a 7 percent decline.