F-Series, Fusion Hybrid, and drinking water… Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – April 3, 2017 Ford recently announced a new long-term goal to use zero drinkable water in manufacturing. To begin, the brand wants to use 30 percent less water per vehicle during manufacturing from 2015 to 2020. Late last year Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant implemented efficiency efforts that helped reduce water usage by 13 million gallons last year. The plant used 17 million gallons of water in February alone. Two projects have been implemented to help Chicago Assembly with their efforts to become more efficient – an increase in the re-use of water in the plant’s pre-treatment system and the addition of a cooling tower side-stream electrolysis system to remove calcium and magnesium (softening system). A large water consumer during manufacturing is the pre-treatment baths where metal is treated before being painted. Meters have been added to each bath to continuously monitor overflow when they are refilled as part of the pre-treatment process or weekly cleaning. The system is pre-set to refill at a certain rate, and the meters send an instant alert to paint process engineers if there’s a change in the process. Previously, this took a couple of days. Another large use of water in automotive manufacturing comes from cooling towers. The cooling tower water treatment program utilizes expert staff, effective chemical and mechanical technologies, and always-on, automated control equipment to provide effective water treatment and minimize water make-up and chemical use. Chicago Assembly Plant’s side-stream electrolysis system is on one of the largest cooling towers at the plant, sifting out contaminants and enabling the plant to use water longer. The plant is developing additional innovative processes that aim to re-use up to 90 percent of water used in the pre-treatment process, reducing the need to use Chicago city water. Ford March 2017 Sales Overview Ford March U.S. sales totaled 236,250 vehicles, down 7.2 percent from the 254,711 sold in March of 2016. YTD sales of 617,302 vehicles is down 4.4 percent from the 645,626 sold through the same period of 2016. Retail and Fleet sales declined 2 and 17 percent with 157,740 and 78,510 vehicles sold respectively. Thanks in part to strong March F-Series sales, Ford’s average transaction price (ATP) across its fleet was up $1,800. The F-Series on its own experienced and ATP up more than $2,500. Here is why. Ford Super Duty high trim trucks including the Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum represented 56 percent of 2017 Super Duty retail sales last month. F-Series not only adds to the Blue Ovals bottom line in 9-figure sums, it is the largest makeup of cars, SUV/CUVs, and trucks the brand sells. Of all the Ford vehicles sold in March, F-Series accounted for 52.5 percent of the brands sales totals. I will add that if gas prices rise significantly at some point in the future, Field’s is taking one hell of a risk with the long term health of the iconic brand. Then again, you sell what is wanted and in this case, it adds up to huge bonus for all North American Ford employees. In March, Ford sold 81,330 F-Series trucks, up 10.1 percent over the73,884 sold in March of 2015. YTD sales are slight stronger with 205,281 pickups sold, up 10.3 percent over the 186,121 sold through the same period of 2016. It was the model lineups best March results in more than a decade. The other March standout is the Fusion Hybrid. During March, 5,865 were sold, up 185.1 percent over the 2,057 sold during March of 2016. YTD sales of 15,660 are doing even better, up 201.5 percent over the 5,194 sold during the same period of 2016. Items of Note: In January and now March, the Fusion Hybrid outsold Prius. YTD sales of the Prius (15,769) are still ahead of the Fusion Hybrid (15,660) by just 109 vehicles. This is turning out to be quite the horse race with both jockeying back and forth for the monthly sales lead. The Prius has not felt this kind of sales pressure ever. The Kia Niro, now in its second full month of sales reached 2,704 new owners and continues to be the 4th bestselling hybrid in the country. The sales totals appear to be accelerating over and above the 2,143 sold last month and I suspect it will top out near 3 to 3.5k/month mark with incentives beginning to be offered in earnest and for the first time in March. Ioniq is just now reaching Hyundai dealerships so we will be watching that one closely with April being its first full month of sales. U.S. March 2017 Sales vs. March 2016 Sales Ranks and Results for the top 18 Automobile Manufacturers GM March 2017 Sales Up 1.6% with 256,224 Vehicles sold Ford March 2017 Sales Down 7.2% with 236,250 Vehicles sold Toyota March 2017 Sales Down 2.1% with 215,224 Vehicles sold FCA March 2017 Sales Down 4.6% with 190,254 Vehicles sold Nissan March 2017 Sales Up 3.2% with 168,832 Vehicles sold Honda March 2017 Sales Down 0.7% with 137,227 Vehicles sold Hyundai March 2017 Sales were down 8.0% with 69,265 Vehicles sold Subaru March 2017 Sales Up 11.3% with 54,871 Vehicles sold Kia March 2017 Sales Down 15.2% with 49,429 Vehicles Sold BMW March 2017 Sales Up 3.5% with 36,002 Vehicles sold Mercedes-Benz March 2017 Sales Up 2.0% with 32,352 Vehicles Sold VW March 2017 Sales Up 2.7% with 27,635 Vehicles sold Mazda March 2017 Sales Up 4.9% with 24,549 Vehicles sold Audi March 2017 Sales Up 1.7% with 18,705 Vehicles sold Jaguar/Land Rover March 2017 Sales Up 18.9% with 12,918 Vehicles sold Mitsubishi March 2017 Sales Up 6.2% with 11,766 Vehicles sold Volvo March 2017 Sales Down 21.9% with 5,356 Vehicles sold Porsche March 2017 Sales Up 3.6% with 4,479 Vehicles sold In March, BMW moved up two spots to 10th ahead of both VW and MB. Jaguar/Land Rover moved ahead of Mitsubishi to take the 15th spot. In terms of Market Share, GM was a clear winner in March with a 0.9 percent gain over March of 2016. FCA was down 1.0 percent, Nissan was up 0.7 percent. Regarding segment sales totals, F-Series outsold GM’s Silverado, Sierra, Colorado, and Canyon combined. Ram also outsold Silverado. March light vehicle SAAR (seasonally-adjusted annual rate) was 14 million in March although March 2017 sales (1.54 million) were off 0.05 million vs. March of 2016 sales (1.59 million). The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles was approximately 14.0 million vehicles. YTD industry sales of 4.00 million is down 0.05 million form the 4.05 million sold through the same period of 2016 with the same number of selling days. It is clear that short term sales have peaked. With incentives piling on across the industry, where we go from here is anyone’s guess.