Last year, at the same time news broke that the seventh-generation Ford Fiesta wouldn’t be sold in North America, the Focus would be sourced primarily from China, and the futures of both the Taurus and Fusion were in limbo, Ford’s SUV and crossover models were quietly marching toward an all-time sales record. Now that December’s sales have all been tallied up, we know what that record is: the Blue Oval brand sold a total of 796,302 CUVs and SUVs in the US through 2017, representing 32 percent of the Ford brand’s total 2.48 million new vehicle sales in the market.
“December capped off a record year for Ford brand SUVs, making it eight consecutive years of Ford brand sales leadership,” says Ford VP of US Marketing, Sales and Service Mark LaNeve.
Key players included the Escape (308,296 unit sales) and Edge (142,603 sales), both of which posted record sales for the year, and the Explorer (238,056 sales), which sold 10.1 percent more volume than 2016, achieving its best result since 2005. Expedition sales were down 13.3 percent for the year as the automaker switched over to a brand-new version for 2018; interest in that model has so far been “white hot,” according to Ford SUV Marketing Manager Michael O’Brien.
As you may recall, Ford is in the midst of shifting its focus away from cars and toward trucks and SUVs, with plans to divert $7 billion in capital from the former segment to the latter over the coming years. As much as that might upset fans of smaller vehicles, history will likely remember it as the correct approach.