If you’re looking to buy a new Ford Maverick, expect to face the classic good news/bad news scenario.
Ford closed the order banks on all 2022 models as advance orders surged well beyond its initial expectations. So, if you want one of the compact pickups, you’ll have to wait until the 2023 model year. On the positive side, expect to see the order bank open up again this summer, Maverick Marketing Manager Trevor Scott told TheDetroitBureau.com.
While there were plenty of skeptics who questioned the logic of launching a compact pickup in a market overwhelmingly dominated by full-size trucks, Ford’s move is clearly paying off. The new Maverick has so far outsold the automaker’s midsize Ranger — and has logged well more than twice the sales of the other new compact pickup, the Hyundai Santa Cruz.
A sizable share of Maverick buyers are trading in products from competing brands, Scott noted.
“We’ve been very pleasantly surprised by the results so far,” said Scott during a Thursday afternoon interview. The strong demand for Maverick “certainly validates the company’s decision to move away from small cars,” he added.
Back in the 1970s and 1980s, small pickups were wildly popular with Baby Boomers. But they lost momentum in the decades that followed. Subaru scrapped the Baja, the last entry into the segment, in 2006.
Reports of the compact pickup’s death have been greatly exaggerated
But there are signs of new life, American motorists purchasing 27,645 compact trucks during the first quarter of the year. That includes 19,245 Mavericks and 8,400 Santa Cruz pickups. What’s also notable is Ford sold just 17,639 of its midsize Ranger pickups during the first quarter, a decline of 27% year-over-year.
Buyers snapped up another 9,500 Mavericks in April, noted Scott, suggesting that demand is continuing to build.
If you didn’t put in an early order, you might still find the odd Maverick at a nearby dealer, if you look hard enough, said the marketing chief, but dealers can barely keep them in stock when the truck rolls in. Where retailers normally keep 60 to 70 days of inventory in stock, it’s down to five days with Maverick.
Hybrids exceed expectations
Ford took many industry analysts by surprise when it launched Maverick — notably for its decision to make the base model a 40 mpg hybrid starting at just $19,995. It proved to be a fortuitous move considering the ongoing surge in gas prices.
While the automaker expected the gas-electric version to generate about 40% of Maverick sales, the figure hit 48% in April.
How high is up? Ford planners aren’t sure, but Scott noted availability is, for now, limited due to the semiconductor shortage. “Our intention,” he said, “is to build every hybrid we can.”
Clicking with young buyers
The low entry price appears to be paying off, with a third of Maverick buyers falling into the 18- to 44-year-old bracket. Equally telling, 80% of the truck’s customers never owned a pickup before.
And while there were early concerns that Maverick might cannibalize demand for the Ranger, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Fully 60% of its buyers are trading in products from competing brands. Toyota is the most “conquested” brand, said Scott, followed by Honda.
Meanwhile registration data analyzed by S&P Global Mobility reveals that California, Texas, Michigan and Florida are the top states for Maverick sales, Ford noted in a news release.