F-Series Sales Skyrocket as Cars Plummet
Total Vehicle Sales Dropped in January, But F-Series Sales Surged Double Digits
January proved a rough month for automakers, as U.S. sales dropped 1.8 percent across the board. Ford saw a rather sharp decline of 0.6% in total vehicle sales, with cars tumbling 17.5%. But the news isn’t all that bad, as the F-Series continued to climb to new heights, posting a 12.5% increase in January. SUV sales enjoyed a surge as well, jumping 6% from last year.
The trend reflects a continued shift in consumer preference. An astounding 62.6% of U.S. vehicle sales in January consisted of trucks and SUV’s, jumping up from 58.2% one year ago. And even though things might look bad at first glance, that shift is actually benefiting Ford. As we noted last week, demand for trucks and SUV’s is leading to record profits.
And as Reuters points out, January’s decline in total vehicle sales might prove to be an outlier anyway. Automakers eased off rental, government, and fleet sales, instead focusing on profitable consumer retail sales. Fleet sales, in particular, consist mostly of passenger cars. Plus, December exceeded expectations, while January is generally the weakest sales month of the year. Despite the drop, analysts still expect 2017 to beat out 2016 and set another record.
And while many automakers are scrambling to meet consumer demand for SUV’s and trucks, Ford was well prepared. The Blue Oval actually had a glutton of inventory to close out the year, while other brands like Lexus were caught short handed as consumers piled in for SUV’s. And considering the fact that Ford raked in a whopping $10.4 billion in net profit last year (much of it thanks to trucks and SUV’s), they’ll be happy to keep cranking them out.