Ford punctuated a strong first quarter with a 43 percent sales increase in March. Ford, Lincoln and Mercury dealers delivered 178,546 new vehicles in March. Ford Sales Analyst George Pipas spoke to us from the floor of the New York Auto show and said these are the highest monthly sales increases since February 1984.
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"As in past months it reflects Ford’s new products and customer demand from everything from Focus to F-Series." :07 sec.
According to Pipas, Ford Motor Company has seen gains from all categories over the last several months.
"Cars are up, Utilities are up and Trucks are up , we’re gaining share in the retail market and the fleet market , so one of the facts about Ford’s sales performance over the last year has been the balance sales performance, up and down the Ford line-up." :18 sec.
Pipas points to third party endorsements as one of the reasons for Ford’s strong sales showing in the first quarter of this year.
"J.D. Power rated reliability of Ford products among the highest in the nation, of all manufactures, and so the quality message and the fuel economy message that third party critics are providing to consumers, are resulting in sales increases." :16 sec.
Sales were higher throughout Ford’s lineup in March. Cars were up 53 percent versus a year ago, utilities were up 46 percent, and trucks were up 30 percent. Among brands, Ford sales were up 46 percent, Lincoln sales were up 19 percent, and Mercury sales were up 26 percent. Pipas says these numbers are remarkable good and about what was expected.
"So for right now, we view the month of March and the first quarter, where Ford’s 37% sales increase leads the industry as another milestone as to where we want to be." :15 sec.
As for the a look ahead…the second quarter promises to deliver with new product that people want to buy.
"We have started shipments of the 2011 Super Duty, we have now under production the new 2011 Mustang with that V-6 that gets over 30 mpg and delivers 300 hp and a V-8 that ‘s over 400 and this spring we will begin production of the Ford Fiesta, Ford’s exciting new small car." :20 sec.
According Pipas, the Ford plan continues to work as evidenced by these strong sales figures and consumers discovering that Ford has a fresh, new product lineup, that covers quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart technologies and value.