Edmunds.com’s Michelle Krebs on Ford, Chrysler’s July sales reports

Sr. Analyst Michelle Krebs On Ford:

“Ford had its best July since 2006, and it may well have been bigger if it wasn’t weighed down by short inventories of the Ford Fusion. Edmunds.com numbers show the Fusion stays on dealership lots for the least amount of time of any midsize sedan – the regular Fusion averages only 29 days on the lot; the Fusion Hybrid is even less at 20 days. The Fusion’s production capacity upgrade this fall can’t come soon enough.

“It’s also worth noting today that Escape sales are running at record levels despite this morning’s announcement that Ford has settled with NHTSA for a whopping $17.35 mn for delaying a recall on older versions of the models.”

On Chrysler:
“Chrysler’s 11 percent sales increase was spot-on with Edmunds.com’s forecast. But the real story this month for Chrysler is how it is smartly reducing its dependence on sales of rental car fleets. While declines in fleet sales may hurt overall sales volume, retail sales are a healthier business for automakers and a plus for retail consumers who benefit from stronger resale values for their vehicles.

“The numbers might not reflect it, but Jeep had another phenomenal month, especially considering the major hole in its product portfolio that will soon be filled with the Cherokee this fall. Every Jeep model was up by hefty double digits.”

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