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What Drove Ford’s November US Sales Higher?

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Dec. 6 2016, Updated 8:07 a.m. ET

Ford’s November sales

On December 1, 2016, Ford Motor Company (F) released its November 2016 US sales data. The company sold 197,574 vehicle units in the US last month. This reflects a YoY (year-over-year) increase of about 5%.

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Retail sales revived in November

In November 2016, Ford’s fleet sales fell 9% YoY to 43,460 vehicle units while its retail vehicle sales were up 10% YoY to 154,114 units at the same time. This data reflects optimism—let’s find out why.

In the auto industry, fleet sales can be defined as wholesale vehicle sales to customers such as rental car companies, government departments, and other private companies that use commercial vehicles. Fleet sales help automakers (VCR) increase their revenues and market share.

However, fleet vehicle sales typically tend to have lower margins than retail vehicle sales. To maintain healthy profitability, it’s important for automakers to focus more on retail sales.

Ford’s retail sales have dropped for the last few months, which took a toll on its margins. In October 2016, its retail sales fell 9% YoY. A revival in November’s retail sales should help the company boost its 4Q16 margins.

Series overview

In this series, we’ll look at November sales figures of mainstream automakers such as Ford, General Motors (GM), Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), and Toyota (TM). We’ll explore what these figures could mean for investors as we enter the 2016 holiday season. Later in the series, we’ll explore how investors on Wall Street reacted to mainstream automakers’ November sales data.

Read on to the next part to see the positive side of Ford’s November sales.

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