Ford sales fall, GM barely even; Jeep powers Chrysler – USA TODAY

Posted: Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Traditional Detroit Three makers reported wide differences in their June new-vehicle sales.

FORD MOTOR:

Sales in June tumbled 5.8% from a year ago, to 222,064.

Good-looking parts of the overall ugly report:

•Fusion sales of 27,064 were the car’s best June ever, up 14%. Ford cites growing popularity in the import-oriented western states.

•Transit Connect, Ford’s ground-breaking small commercial van that’s spawned an array of such models from other automakers, snagged 4,573 buyers in June, up 29%.

•Police versions of the Explorer SUV and Taurus sedan both jumped, though that’s not much more than a niche market and the totals, despite gains, were small.

•Big, truck-based Expedition SUV and its Lincoln counterpart, Navigator, were strong.

Asian automakers: Toyota, Hyundai up in early reports

European automakers: VW plunges, premium brands grow

Mostly, the Ford news was dire:

•Lincoln, Ford’s perennially struggling premium brand, fell 2.7% because, well, nothing was selling. Only model to report better sales this June than last was the Navigator SUV. Ford notes that for the year so far, Lincoln looks better – up 16%.

•Ford-brand cars struggled, as only Focus and Fusion reported gains.

•SUV,s normally a Ford strong point, were down 8.4%. Only gainer in the bunch was the Explorer, and they just barely – up 0.4%

•Even the normally reliable sales champ, F-series full-size pickup, was down, off 11%.

GENERAL MOTORS:

June sales barely were above a year ago — up 1% to 267,461.

Core brand Chevrolet fell 2.5% as roaring sales of the new-design Suburban and Tahoe full-size, truck-based SUVs, as well as by the Corvette, couldn’t overcome losses mainly by Malibu mid-size and Impala full-size sedans.

GMC, the company’s truck brand, likewise enjoyed hefty sales of the new Yukon and Yukon XL, as well as its full-size commercial van and reported an overall tally up 10.6%.

Buick generally was strong, up 18.4% overall.

Cadillac, despite well-touted new models, mustered only a 1% gain It was kept out of the sales-decline column only by robust sales of its Escalade version of GM’s new big-truck SUVs,

CHRYSLER GROUP:

June new-vehicle sales hit 171,086, up 9.2% from last year and the best June since 2007.

Jeep’s new-to-the-lineup Cherokee compact SUV was the star, adding some 13,000 sales to the count, far outweighing modest increases or decreases among other Jeep models.

Chrysler brand was down, even though its Town & Country minivan zipped 24%. The brand hopes sales of the new-design 200 mid-size sedan, on sale since May, will continue to ramp up and push tallies higher.

The group’s Dodge brand, usually tumbling unattractively in the wake of stronger brands, mustered a bare 1% sales gain in June. But that mediocre number camouflages standout performances:

•Dart compact appears finally to be winning some friends, up 12%, its’ best-ever June..

•Caravan minivan was up 22%, joining blood-relative Chrysler Town & Country in a family van surge at the automaker.

•Journey, the long-suffering, oft-overlooked crossover SUV, rose 24%, best June ever.

Ram truck brand rose to its best numbers in 10 years, on strong showings by the full-size pickup, up 12%, and 1,131 sales of the new-to-the-line ProMaster commercial van.

Fiat brand rose 11% as growth by the larger 500L wiped out sagging interest in the 500 minicar.

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