Ford Motor Co.'s announced today that its sales fell 19% in January to 166,835 vehicles compared with 205,671 a year ago, as the company warned they would Wednesday.
The Dearborn-based automaker said the bulk of the drop is due to a planned reduction in sales to daily rental companies. Ford reports it cut those sales by 65%.
"All of us at Ford are focused on restructuring our business to be profitable at lower volumes and offering more of the products people want, including more cars and more crossovers," said Mark Fields, Ford President of the Americas.
"We are focusing more of our attention on retail customers and reducing sales to daily rental companies sharply. Our customers benefit from this plan because their vehicles' residual values will improve — a trend we already are seeing with our newest products."
Ford reports that the resale values of its newest products have already improved for the 2007 Ford Fusion, Lincoln Navigator, Ford Expedition and Ford Escape compared with the previous models of those vehicles, the company reports.
And January marked the first full month on sale for the company's new Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX. Edge sales were 5,586 and MKX sales were 1,699.
Ford saw lower sales for its popular F-Series pickup fall 15% in January . The company expects softness in new home construction to adversely affect full-size pickup sales throughout the first half of 2007.