Ford dominates truck sales with hybrid pickups playing a major role
The key to dominance in pickup trucks requires giving buyers choices as the industry evolves rapidly and that means offering the F Series in classic gas, hybrid and electric options, Ford CEO Jim Farley told investors in recent days.
Based on October sales totals and year-to-date sales totals, the formula is working as hoped.
Farley promised the public that F-Series trucks with gas engines aren’t going away anytime soon and worried consumers need to relax. Ford’s strategy is to offer the F-150 and Maverick hybrid models, which use both gasoline and battery power, to fill the gap for people who are hesitant to make the big leap toward full battery electric use.
However, electric trucks are also sold.
Highlights and spotlights
According to Ford sales figures obtained from the automaker on Thursday:
- During the first 10 months of the year, Ford leads the industry as the best-selling brand with total sales of 1,591,695 vehicles, surpassing second-highest Toyota with 18,571 vehicles and up 8.4% over last year.
- Ford is the best-selling truck manufacturer. Ford truck sales outpaced General Motors by more than 66,000 trucks through October of this year with 903,204 trucks – an increase of 16.9% year-to-date from last year. Ford builds the F-Series, Super Duty, Ranger, Maverick and Transit van lineups.
- Hybrid vehicle sales, led by the Maverick and F-150, set a new record for monthly sales of 13,155 vehicles, an increase of 37.9% over last year. Maverick Hybrid sales had a record month in October with 6,230 trucks sold, up 42.6% from last year. Year-to-date, Maverick has seen sales increase 50.2% to 42,669 trucks. The Maverick Hybrid now represents 56% of total Mavericks sales. F-150 hybrid truck sales rose to 3,930 trucks for October, contributing to total sales this year of 40,636, an increase of 42.6%.
- In October, the all-electric F-150 Lightning had its best sales month since the Lightning’s launch in 2022 with a record 3,712 trucks sold. This is despite the fact that it had a quality check defect with dealer orders. Year to date, Lightning sales are up 42.7% with 15,972 trucks sold.
- While F-Series sales fell 5.1% in October to 53,509 vehicles, it still outpaced the Chevrolet Silverado by 11,876 vehicles. Year-to-date F Series sales are up 19.7% to 626,879 trucks. The F-Series remains the best-selling truck in America this year, besting its closest competitor, the Silverado, by 181,825.
From the beginning of the year to date, Ford has sold 53,502 electric vehicles, an increase of 12.6% from 2022; 109,669 hybrid vehicles, up 18.8% from 2022; 1,494,839 internal combustion vehicles, an increase of 6.8%. Total Ford Motor Company sales, including Lincoln vehicles, rose 7.7% to 1,658,010 vehicles.
Sales of the Lincoln Corsair and Aviator SUV were down, with year-to-date sales down 13.3% to 19,836 and 37.9% to 11,587, respectively. However, sales of the Nautilus and Navigator rose 11.5% to 20,215 cars and 40.4% to 14,677 cars, respectively. Overall, Lincoln sales are down 5.4% compared to this time last year.
Trucks remain the path to profitability for Ford, with truck sales growing 16.9% to 903,204 compared to the same period in 2022. SUV sales fell 1.4% to 715,190, and car sales fell 2.3% to 39,616 as the company trims its offerings.
What happens with Explorer, Mustang Mach-E?
Meanwhile, although the Explorer sold 16,634 vehicles in October, year-to-date sales fell 10.1% to 154,766 vehicles. SUV production declined in September and October due to a UAW strike at a Chicago assembly plant, according to statements in late October from Ford executives about the impact of the strike on quarterly earnings.
The Chicago Assembly joined the strike on September 29 and the tentative agreement was announced on October 25. Ford announced Monday that all striking UAW workers have returned to work.
Sales of the all-electric Mustang Mach-E fell to 2,732 SUVs in October, but the Mach-E was up 1.5% during this time period last year with 31,614 vehicles sold. 4,270 all-new Mustangs were sold in October, while Mustangs were down 2.1% to 39,585 compared to last year, according to Ford.
Strong sales expected in November and December
Building the two best-selling hybrid trucks, with the Maverick and F-150 respectively, puts Ford in a good position as it heads into the fourth quarter, when sales are expected to grow further, said Eric Merkle, Ford’s U.S. sales analyst. “The Lightning has done very well. Our stock has been moving. You’ll see the impact in the fourth quarter there as well.”
Super Duty production was hit hard by a UAW strike at a Kentucky truck plant that began Oct. 11 and ended Oct. 25, UAW leaders said during the walkout. This single plant generates $25 billion in revenue annually, Ford said. Todd Dunn, president of UAW Local 862, whose members work at the plant, told the Louisville Courier Journal that Ford would lose nearly $30 million a day in profits because of the strike.
“The factory is starting to focus on fulfilling orders again,” Merkel said.
“We are still receiving orders to fill them,” Merkel said. “The Kentucky Truck strike was a major drag on October sales.”
Maverick inventory remains tight, he said. “The Maverick is pretty hot for us right now. It’s been hot since it launched. People say this is a lot of truck for the price.”
more:How the discontinued Maverick sedan evolved into Ford’s latest thing in pickup trucks
Ford continues to see steady demand with Lightning, Merkle said. “The buyers are out there. Its growth rate varies by industry, but it is really growing.”
In July, Ford said hybrid pickups play a key role in its 2024 strategy.
Contact Phoebe Wall Howard: 313-618-1034 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on X, formerly known as Twitter @phoebesaid.