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Ford Registers Lower 4th-Quarter Sales in US

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) released its fourth-quarter U.S. sales on Jan. 6.

Quarterly results dropped year over year. Though truck sales were strong during the quarter, the company's results were weighed down by poor demand for passenger cars and SUVs.

For full fiscal 2019, Ford's sales were down 3% as compared with the prior year to 2,422,698 units.

Overview of the quarter

The Michigan-based automaker sold a total of 601,862 units in the fourth quarter, which reflected a decline of 1.3% from the prior-year period.

Passenger car sales tumbled 41% to 63,400 units and SUV sales fell 4.1% to 208,387 units. Trucks remained the bright spot for the company with 330,075 deliveries, up 15.9%.

Ford Mustang sales amounted to 17,124 units, up 20.4% year over year. Explorer sales tumbled 14.6% to approximately 48,000 units. The reason for the decline was a deliberate cutback in sales to fleet buyers. December, though, turned out to be Explorer's best month for retail sales to individual customers.

Expedition sales inched up 71.6% in the reported quarter to 24,267 units.

F-Series and Lincoln sales

F-Series sales increase 1.6% year over year to 233,952 units. F-Series sales for the whole year declined 1.4% due to fresh product offerings by General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Fiat Chrysler Automaker (NYSE:FCAU). Despite the decline, the automaker managed to sell more pickup trucks, helping it to become the top seller of pickup trucks for 43 consecutive years. The all-new F-150 is slated to be introduced later this year.

Lincoln sales grew 17.8% in the fourth quarter to 33,355 units. Sales surged 14.75% to 5,455 units for the Navigator and 129.7% to 7,727 units for the Nautilus. By contrast, Continental sales decreased 23.9% to 1,845 units. However, that had a negligible impact on Lincoln's quarterly growth.

Ford's push to develop autonomous and electric vehicles

Ford is working intensively to roll out brand new models of self-driving and electric vehicles, which is now considered to be the future of auto industry. Additionally, the company plans to begin manufacturing self-driving cars by 2021.

The automaker hopes to launch 30 vehicle models by 2025 in China, one-third of which will be comprised of electric vehicles.

Disclosure: I do not hold any positions in the stocks mentioned.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.