(By Balaseshan) Automaker Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) reported a 3.8% decline in July U.S. sales, due to lower fleet sales as well as lower demand for utilities and trucks.
Total vehicles for the month of July decreased to 173,966 units from 180,865 units. Sales from Ford brand declined 3.5% to 166,991 vehicles, while Lincoln sales fell 10.7% to 6,975 vehicles. Fleet sales were down 16%.
Ford said U.S. retail sales increased 2% in July versus year-ago levels, driven by strong retail customer demand for fuel-efficient vehicles. Fuel economy continues to be a top consumer purchase driver across the company's lineup.
Type-wise, Ford cars sales rose 3.5% to 57,815 units, with Focus, Fusion and Taurus showing huge increase in sales despite a 95.1% drop in Crown Victoria sales and a 23.4% fall in Fiesta sales.
Fusion exceeded its best-ever July sales record last month – with sales up 20.7% to 23,326 vehicles. Mustang sales increased 8% with 7,371 vehicles sold, representing its third straight month of sales gains since 2013 models started arriving in dealerships.
Utilities sales declined 3.7% to 50,751 units, with Expedition and Escape showing huge decrease in sales, despite a 14.3% growth in Explorer sales, which is its best-ever July sales result since 2006. Edge sales were down 5.7% in July versus a year ago. Flex sales decreased 3.1%. Trucks sales decreased 9.0% to 61,412 units.
The country's top-selling pickup vehicle for 30 years, the Ford F-Series posted its 12th straight month of sales increases, with 49,314 F-Series sold in July. EcoBoost-equipped F-150s made up 42% of retail sales in July.
E-Series delivered a 2.6% decline with 8,574 vans sold. Transit Connect rose 0.8% to 2,627 vans. Ranger posted a 93.6% drop in sales for the month of July with 413 vehicles sold.
Lincoln brand sales decreased 10.7% to 6,975 vehicles, due to lower demand for MKS, Town Car, MKX and Navigator brands offset increase in MKZ, and MKT vehicles.
Meanwhile, General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) posted a 6.4 percent drop in U.S. sales for the month of July due to a sharp fall in rental volume. The Detroit, Michigan-based auto giant reported sales of 201,237 vehicles in the United States last month. Chevrolet sales were off 6.8 percent. Sales of Buick, GMC also declined 14.7 percent and 9.0 percent, respectively. However, Cadillac sales jumped 20.7 percent.
F is trading down 0.33% at $9.16 on Wednesday. The stock has been trading between $8.83 and $13.05 for the past 52 weeks.