Car sales, meanwhile, climbed 9%, as Ford continued to benefit from its new vehicles. The Ford 500 and Mercury Montego combined to raise sales 35% over January's numbers. The new Mustang also remains a consumer favorite; its February sales jumped nearly 37% over January's.
It appears that Ford's trucks have finally cooled off, falling for the second month in a row. Truck sales ended the month down 8%. Ford's top-selling F-series line, which accounts for approximately 25% of the company's total sales, fell 11% last month. The drop is somewhat understandable, since the truck was flying off lots last year in response to its popular new design.
Analysts have forecast disappointing sales for Ford, as well as for its domestic rival General Motors
Producing fewer vehicles is obviously not a good sign, but it's no surprise, considering Ford's recent performance. Hopefully, however, the move will allow Ford to avoid its usual practice of offering a plethora of incentives in an attempt to get the abundance of vehicles off its lots. Sales and earnings will continue to suffer in the near term as a result of the production cuts, but the move should allow Ford to avoid some markdowns further down the road.
While Ford works to find a satisfactory level of production, I expect its stock price to hover in a fairly narrow range. The price is getting tempting with a trailing P/E of 6, but I'd holding off until I'm sure Ford can prove it's capable of doing well in more than one area at a time.
For more on Ford, check out my article Rollin' Rollin' Rollin' Downhill.
Fool contributor Mike Cianciolo welcomes feedback and doesn't own any of the companies mentioned in this article.