Ford Motor Co.'s sales in the U.S. increased by 13% to 215,699 units in May because of a boost from the strong demand for trucks. Ford is under pressure to cope with demand. In addition, Ford, which aims to produce 690,000 vehicles in the third quarter, had a 5% increase from the third quarter of 2011.
Last month, Ford had a 13% improvement in its brand sales to 208,425 compared with May 2011. Lincoln sales declined by 2% to 7,274 units. Erich Merkle, Ford's chief U.S. sales analyst, said that fleet sales made up 35% of Ford Motor's sales in May, compared to 34% last year. Sales of the F-series pickup increased by 29% to 54,836. According to Ken Czubay, Ford's vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, this is the best May for the F series since 2007.
Czubay said that this sales boost is due to drivers who are trading in their old trucks now as well as the higher demand for frugal trucks. He said that 43% of retail F-150 sales in May were made up of F-150s with Ford's EcoBoost engines. When Czubay was in a conference call with reporters and analysts, he described last May as a ‘strong month’ for the company. He said that pickup sales aren’t influenced by housing necessarily but even so, the company is excited for the housing recovery.
He explained that pickup sales are increasing due to the "replacement, pent-up demand" displayed by the “age of the fleet” mated with the appeal of trucks that have vastly improved fuel economy.
Merkle said that last May, Ford had a 54-day vehicle supply, a decrease from a 66-day supply in April. In addition, Merkle said that Ford is planning to add a third shift of 1,300 workers at its Louisville Assembly Plant in the second half of 2012 to produce the redesigned Escape. This year, Ford added a second shift at the plant. Last month, Ford added shifts to its assembly plants in Kansas City, Mo.; Wayne, Michigan; and Chicago.