DETROIT (AP) _ Ford Motor Co.'s U.S. sales fell 23 percent in October, dragged down by sagging sales of trucks and sport utility vehicles. Automakers were expecting a slow October after a summer of heavily-promoted employee discounts.
Sales of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury trucks fell 30 percent compared to last October, while car sales slipped 3.7 percent. SUVs took the biggest hit, as sales of the Ford Explorer, Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator were all down more than 50 percent for the month, while the Lincoln Aviator saw a 61 percent drop.
Ford said its new Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln Zephyr midsize sedans were notable exceptions, exceeding Ford's expectations by selling more than 6,000 units in their first month.
Ford's car sales rose 7 percent for the year, but overall sales fell nearly 3 percent.
U.S. automakers ended their employee discounts the first week of October and were expecting some payback after phenomenal sales this summer. General Motors Corp. began its discount in June, and Ford and DaimlerChrysler AG followed in July.
Sales percentages were adjusted for differences in the number of selling days. There were 26 selling days in October 2005 and 27 in October 2004.