Ford's F-150 is its -- and America's -- biggest seller, but
gains have been subdued while Ford's factories switch to the
all-new 2015 model. That may have cost Ford second place in the
U.S. last month. Source: Ford Motor Co.
said on Friday that its U.S. sales were up 9.5% in July, thanks
to strong results for the Fusion sedan and key SUV models.
That was good enough to beat analyst estimates according to
Bloomberg. But it wasn't good enough to beat
, which outsold Ford for the first time in almost a year to seize
second place in the U.S., behind
Both saw big gains for SUVs and sedans...
Both Ford and Toyota made big gains with their popular SUV
models, as more and more buyers are choosing "crossover" SUVs
over traditional cars.
Sales of Ford's Escape were up 19% in July, and sales of its
big Explorer were up almost 32%. Toyota's RAV4 was up 31.8% --
just enough to out-sell the rival Escape by 221 units -- and its
4Runner saw a huge jump, with sales rising over 64%.
Sales of Ford's Escape rose 19% last month - but Toyota's RAV4
managed to do just a little better. Source: Ford Motor
Both also saw strong gains for their midsize sedan entries,
with Toyota's Camry up almost 15%, and Ford's Fusion rising
Ford noted that retail sales of the Fusion were up even more
in July, 22%, thanks to strong West Coast sales -- where the
Fusion is said to be winning customers away from Toyota and other
Japanese brands, according to Ford officials.
But that's where the similarities ended.
...but Toyota's small cars beat Ford's in a big
stronger than Toyota when it comes to pickup sales. Ford's
F-Series isn't just the top-selling pickup line, it's America's
while sales of Toyota's Tundra lag far behind the Detroit
stalwarts. The F-Series outsells the Tundra by about six to one,
But F-Series sales were up just 4.6% in July. That's no
surprise -- Ford actually planned to give up a bit of market
share in pickups this year because it's expecting to
lose about 90,000 units of production
while it converts its factories to
make the all-new 2015 F-150
Ford has reduced its incentives on the F-Series in order to
preserve its profits while selling fewer trucks, but it
selling fewer trucks than it would be if its factories were able
to run flat-out.
That may have put it at a disadvantage in the monthly numbers
game with Toyota.
Just as Ford leads Toyota in trucks, Toyota has a big
advantage over Ford in cars. Not only does the Camry out-sell the
Fusion by a wide margin (67% in July), but its Corolla and Prius
together normally out-sell Ford's Focus, Fiesta, and C-Max.
Sales of Toyota's redesigned Corolla have been very strong.
U.S. sales were up 26% last month. Source: Toyota.
The Corolla in particular has been on a
. New for 2014, the Corolla -- which battles the Focus globally
for the title of world's best-selling car -- was up 26% in July
to almost 31,000 sold. Meanwhile, the Focus may out-sell the
Corolla in some parts of the world (like China), but here in the
U.S, it's far behind: 17,724 were sold in July, a gain of just
Toyota also gets a boost from its Lexus luxury brand, which
outsold Ford's Lincoln brand by more than three to one last
So, is Ford now stuck in third place, behind Toyota?
Toyota deserves some credit. It has bounced back very well
from its recall debacle -- and from the massive supply
disruptions that followed the Japanese tsunami. Its Camry, Prius,
Corolla, and RAV4 all continue to be very strong sellers here in
Ford is still well ahead of Toyota in total U.S. sales year to
date, and there's a good chance Ford will outsell Toyota in most
of the months to come.
Pickup sales tend to pick up strongly (so to speak) in the
fall; even with its temporarily reduced production capacity, Ford
should still see big sales totals, likely more than enough to
outdo its big Japanese rival.
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