Ford's Cars Are Already Fading From U.S. Auto Sales Charts

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(Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co.’s first U.S. sales results since the automaker stunned the world by revealing it’s exiting the sedan business in America demonstrated why the company is making the move.

The only Ford or Lincoln car that American consumers bought more of this April was the GT, the $400,000 supercar sold in minuscule volumes. Ford delivered 10 of them to U.S. customers last month -- accounting for 0.005 percent of Ford’s April sales.

Ford’s total passenger-car deliveries plunged 15 percent, with sales of its Fusion family sedan collapsing by 23 percent. Just a few years ago, the Fusion was so popular Ford was building it in two factories. Despite the deep decline, Ford contends its car woes won’t worsen just because its marked its sedan lineup for death.

“Fusion is a really strong product,” Mark LaNeve, Ford’s U.S. sales chief, said on a conference call with analysts and reporters. “It’s still got well over a couple years to run. This news will pass, in terms of the news cycle, and we’ll get back to normal business.”

LaNeve has been reassuring dealers the company will still promote the Fusion and Ford’s other sedans and promising they will make an “orderly transition” into extinction.

“We think it will be just fine,” LaNeve said.

Overall, Ford’s April sales fell 4.5 percent, slightly better than the 5 percent falloff analysts had projected. Ford’s aging sport utility vehicle lineup continued to decline, but rising F-Series pickup sales helped the automaker to the small beat. The company said last week that it’s going to cease investment in all of its volume cars for the North American market. Eventually, its only surviving models will be the Mustang muscle car and the GT.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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