Despite ongoing concerns about the sluggish economy last year, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) delivered its best sales performance in seven years. Several models drove to new annual sales records, while the time-tested F-Series remained the best-selling truck on the market.
In December, Ford’s total sales increased 2 percent year-over-year to reach 218,058 vehicles, slightly below estimates. However, it was the best December for the automaker’s retail sales since 2005. Retail sales for the Ford brand jumped 14 percent in 2013, with cars up 12 percent, utilities up 13 percent, and trucks up 17 percent. Ford is the best-selling brand for the fourth consecutive year.
“December was a strong close to an even better year for Ford Motor Company,” John Felice, Ford’s vice president of U.S. marketing, sales, and service, said in a press release. “We saw strong growth across the entire Ford lineup and made significant gains in the import-dominated coastal markets. Strong demand for our new cars, utilities, hybrids and trucks provided Ford with the largest share point gain of any full-line automaker in 2013.”
There was a variety of success across Ford’s lineup. Annual sales records were set for the Fiesta, Escape, and Fusion. After logging eight straight months of sales above 60,000 vehicles, the F-Series posted sales of 74,592 vehicles in December. In fact, the F-Series is now the best-selling truck for 37 years and best-selling vehicle for 32 years.
In Friday morning trading, shares of Ford traded slightly lower but held up better than General Motors (NYSE:GM). As the chart below shows, shares of Ford fell about 0.1 percent while GM dropped more than 2 percent. GM sales numbers for December also missed estimates.
Last month, shares of Ford suffered their biggest percentage loss in about two years after the company said its pretax profit will likely decline in 2014 due to restructuring efforts in Europe and lower margins on outgoing models. Ford is launching a historically significant 23 new models across the globe this year, double the number of new product debuts from last year. As a result, Ford’s profits will come in closer to to $7 billion or $8 billion for 2014.
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