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Fusion and F-Series Drive Ford to Best March in 8 Years

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With special thanks to a handful of strong performances from cars like the Fusion and Lincoln MKZ, Ford was able to thaw its frozen January and February sales trends in March to post a gain of 3 percent over March 2013. Ford moved a cumulative 244,167 vehicles, as the Ford nameplate added 2.6 percent and Lincoln sales surged 31.4 percent last month.

The Fusion, still riding the sales momentum put in motion from its redesign last year, sold 32,963 units in March, 8.8 percent over the same period of last year, making for the best month the Fusion has had yet thanks to an upswing in promotional activity to keep the model competitive.

The F-Series, Ford’s profit engine and reliable sales machine, logged 70,940 sales during the month, breaching the 70,000 mark for the fourth month in the last seven years. Sales are up 5.1 percent up on March of last year, MotorTrend reports, saying “it’s likely that dealers are stocking more 2014 F-Series inventory to prepare for the launch of the new all-aluminum 2015 Ford F-150 which will require the truck’s factory to shut down for retooling later this year.”

The Lincoln MKZ managed its sixth straight month of year-over-year sales gains, with 4,052 sales, a whopping 71.7 percent above the sales of the car during March 2013. March was the best-ever month for the MKZ, which, like the Fusion, is still riding the wave of momentum set in motion with its radical redesign.

alan mullaly lincoln (640x427)

However, it wasn’t all gold medals for Ford’s lineup. The Focus hatchback, which is among the most popular nameplates in the world, suffered a 3.8 percent decline domestically, to 23,974 units. But given that the Focus hasn’t seen any real recent updates and that there’s a new model around the corner, it’s only expected that volume will likely slow, at least somewhat — though the F-150 scenario would suggest otherwise.

Likewise, the Ford Taurus has fallen behind as well, with 5,689 units sold during the period. Ford’s range-topping sedan is now more than 27 percent down for the year to date. MotorTrend suggests that this may at least in part be due to the rampant success of the Fusion, which is translating into cannibalized sales from the Taurus. Further, recently updated competitors like the Toyota Avalon and Chevrolet Impala that have been posting big sales increases lately, MotorTrend reports.

“March sales turned noticeably higher mid-month and finished strong,” said John Felice, Ford’s vice president of U.S. marketing, sales, and service, in Ford’s statement. “Fusion set an all-time record in March, as overall retail sales in the West continued to expand at the fastest rate in the nation – including California being up 32 percent. F-Series also had a very strong month, as did Lincoln MKZ.”