Have You Driven A Ford Lately? Probably Not. Ford Sales Down In December, 2007

First, the bad news: sales for Ford were 212,094 for December, down 9% from the previous December. Ford's total 2007 sales were 2.57 million, down 12% compared with 2006. But there's a silver lining on that blue cloud as Lincoln posted a 9% increase in sales in 2007 after a significant realignment of their product and the success of the MKX. Land Rover also realized a 3.7% increase in sales for 2007, though this fact is overshadowed by the 24.2% decrease for India-bound Jaguar. The Ford F-Series truck was also the best-selling truck in 2007 for the 31st consecutive year, a record Ford refuses to ever abandon. Full press release below the jump:

CROSSOVERS, LINCOLN HIGHLIGHT FORD'S 2007 SALES PERFORMANCE; FURTHER GROWTH EXPECTED IN 2008

DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 3, 2008 - Led by two new and three redesigned models, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury crossover utility vehicles paced the industry's fastest-growing segment with a gain of 62 percent in 2007, more than triple the industry-wide growth of 17 percent. In its first full year, Ford Edge sales were 130,125, exceeding Ford's original forecast by 30 percent. In December, Edge capped off the year with its best-ever retail sales month.

"Ford Edge is a great example of our plan to build products people really want to buy," said Jim Farley, Ford's group vice president, Marketing and Communications. "Demand is growing at a fast pace beyond the nation's heartland, our traditional region of strength."

Ford expects continued growth in crossovers in 2008 with the mid-year introduction of the Ford Flex.

Lincoln achieved full-year sales of 131,487, a 9 percent increase versus 2006. The Lincoln MKX crossover was the largest contributor to Lincoln's growth, but the MKZ sedan and Lincoln Navigator also helped spur Lincoln's momentum, which began in late 2006. The next new Lincoln was revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November - the MKS sedan that will debut this summer.

Sales for the new Ford Focus were up 3 percent in December (9 percent at retail). Focus sales were up 18 percent in November, the first full month for the new model.

Ford's F-Series truck was America's best-selling truck in 2007 - the 31st year in a row - with full year sales of 690,589. F-Series was also the best-selling vehicle, car or truck, for 26 years in a row.

Ford's full-year 2007 sales totaled 2.57 million, down 12 percent compared with a year ago. Retail sales were down 10 percent and fleet sales were down 18 percent (including a 32 percent reduction in daily rental sales). More than two thirds of Ford's sales decline reflected discontinued products.

Ford's December sales totaled 212,094, down 9 percent compared with a year ago. Retail sales were down 13 percent and fleet sales were down 1 percent.

2008 Outlook
Ford expects the economic environment to remain challenging in 2008. Ford has said it expects the first half U.S. auto sales rate to be in the range of 15.5 to 16.0 million in the first half (light vehicle sales in the range of 15.2 to 15.7 million).

"We are restructuring our business to be profitable at lower demand and changed mix and accelerating the development of new products people want to buy," Farley said. "We have more work to do to reach our ultimate goal - profitable growth for all. But we have made progress in a short amount of time in several key areas."

Note: The sales data included in this release and the accompanying tables are based largely on data reported by dealers representing their sales to retail and fleet customers.

[Source: Ford]