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Ford Posts Surprising Sales Gain of 2% In July

First increase since 2007 a sign that Ford is on the right track

 |  Aug 03 2009, 7:22 PM

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With the current state of affairs in the auto industry, smaller than expected losses have been cause to celebrate, so imagine the party the folks over at Ford must be having right now as the company announced today that it actually posted a sales gain.

Last month Ford’s 10 percent loss was seen as a sign that Ford is on the right track and that the economy might just be recovering. This month the American automaker posted a two percent increase compared to the same month a year earlier. But that number doesn’t even tell the whole story as retail sales were actually up nine percent. Less impressive fleet sales (notorious for low profit margins) curbed that number down to two percent.

As a sign that Ford is not only fighting off this recession, but that the automaker is actually producing products that consumers want to buy, this sales gain is the first since November 2007.

Ford’s sales and marketing VP Ken Czubay credited the company’s fuel-efficient vehicles, combined with the government’s Cash-for-Clunkers program for the positive results. “We had another strong month in progress before the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program started,” he said. “Our products, our dealers and our advance preparation enabled us to leverage the program and drive traffic and sales to another level. In addition, we achieved a sales increase even though we decreased incentive spending in an increasingly competitive environment.”

Particularly successful models for Ford included the Fusion, Escape, Ranger and Flex. Fusion sales were up 66 percent; Escape sales were up 94 percent; while Ranger and Flex sales were both up 65 percent over a year ago. In addition Ford saw a drastic increase in the number of customers opting for hybrids, with Ford’s hybrid lineup (including the Fusion, Milan, Escape and Mariner) posting an increase of 323 percent.

Official release after the jump:

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 |  Mar 31 2009, 3:27 PM

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Just as General Motors announced it’s GM Total Confidence plan earlier today, Ford is getting into the incentive game with its new Ford Advantage Plan.

The “Plan” one-ups GM’s offer by covering 12 months of car payments for anyone who loses their job. Better still, the Ford will make those payments up to $700.

“Consumers remain anxious about the economy and their own outlook for the future. We at Ford want to do our part to rebuild faith in the marketplace by offering payment protection on every new Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle for up to a year if our customers lose their jobs,” said Ken Czubay, vice president of Sales and Marketing.

The Ford Advantage Plan also includes zero percent financing on select Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles.

Ford is not, however, offering a “negative equity” plan like General Motors, instead citing that FoMoCo cars have a high residual value.

“Ford’s improvements in quality have contributed significantly to our year-over-year improvements in residual values,” said Czubay.

“This is the strongest product lineup we have ever offered. When you combine these great products with payment protection, 0 percent financing and support for local charities, customers can feel confident about getting back into the market for a new car or truck.”

The Ford Advantage Plan runs from today until June 1st.

Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…