Ford Motor Company’s Vice President of U.S. Marketing, Sales & Service, Mark LaNeve, is unperturbed by the fact that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles outsold Ford in the U.S. for the month of September, blaming its shortfall in Ford’s sales on a decline in fleet sales. Ford Motor Company comes in just behind General Motors in terms of global production volume, a full three spots ahead of FCA, and is accustomed to routinely outselling the Italian-American automaker in the United States.
“We don’t worry about being in a contest with them,” the Ford sales chief told Bloomberg. “You know, there’s been months when we beat General Motors and we didn’t pound our chests when that happened. It was a function of timing and what have you.”
An eleven-percent decline in sales to rental car agencies had an especially big impact on Ford’s U.S. sales in September. The drop might have been influenced by Ford’s decision to axe its “traditional sedan” models in North America; the Focus has already ended production at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, leaving the automaker without a compact sedan to peddle to rental agencies.
The going should get easier next year when Ford introduces redesigned versions of the compact Ford Escape and full-size Ford Explorer crossover models, Ford sales chief Mark LaNeve says. Yet it’s hard to imagine rental agencies especially opting to buy as many Ford vehicles when all that remains is higher-priced utility vehicles.
Ford Motor Company’s U.S. sales were down 11.2 percent to 197,404 units in September, compared to the same month last year. Outside of the Focus and C-MAX, both of which have ended production, the biggest declines were experienced by the Ford Police Interceptor Sedan (31.4%), E-Series (31.2%), and Fusion (25.3%). For the full sales results, click here.