Ford Says July Was Best Month for F-Series Since 2008

Ford Motor Co. said sales of its F-Series pickups rose 40 percent in July, the best month since March 2008, while sales of smaller, fuel-efficient cars declined.

Sales industrywide likely rose 3 percent to 4 percent in July and were “slightly above” the 11.1 million-vehicle annual rate in June, George Pipas, Ford’s sales analyst, said today at a briefing with reporters in Dearborn, Michigan.

“You can’t call a turnaround based on one month,” Pipas said. “This is a slow but sure recovery.”

Redesigned models such as the Fusion and Taurus sedans have enabled Ford to increase its U.S. market share to 17.5 percent this year from 16.1 percent in the first half of 2009, according to researcher Autodata Corp. of Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Ford avoided the bankruptcies that befell its U.S. rivals by borrowing $23 billion in late 2006, before credit markets froze, giving it the cash to weather the recession and invest in new models. Ford said July 23 that it earned $4.7 billion in the first six months of the year, its largest first-half profit since 1998.

Ford fell 20 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $12.77 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have gained 28 percent this year.