Ford Motor Co.’s sales of new vehicles dropped 10.5% in April, but the automaker managed to gain market share as it succeeded in boosting deliveries to its dealers across the U.S. as rivals reported bigger declines in deliveries.
“While industry semiconductor chip shortages persist, improved inventory flow in April delivered a significant share gain of 1 percentage point over a year ago with Ford outperforming the industry,” said Andrew Frick, vice president of sales and distribution.
“Inventory flow bolstered stronger F-Series, Mustang Mach-E, E-Transit and record April Ford brand SUV sales. We are now shipping all models of the electric F-150 Lightning.”
EVs do well
Ford reported sales of battery-electric vehicles increased 139% compared with last year on the strength of Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit sales, while the first shipments of the all-new F-150 Lightning are underway. E-Transit sales increased 62.3% over March, while Mustang Mach-E had its best monthly sales performance since it was launched, with sales up 95% versus last year.
Ford’s April sales outperformed the industry with total share of 13.8%, while filling retail orders at record rates representing 50% of April’s retail sales. Meanwhile sales of electrified vehicles, including hybrids, increased by 50.2% compared with the year-ago period, accounting for 9.4% of the automaker’s total sales last month.
Ford’s sales of sport-utility vehicles also increased over year-ago levels by 2.7%.
The automaker also reported sales of its all-important F-Series increased 14.7% over March, while one of Ford’s hottest new products, the Maverick, increased sales by 9.7 percent. The small pickup delivered its best sales performance since its launch with 9,537 pickups sold. Maverick is Ford’s top hybrid sales performer with 48.2% of Maverick sales being hybrids.
However, when compared to this time last year, sales of the F-Series were down 22.3% and are down 29% through the first four months of 2022.
Living down to expectations
Observing April sales reports, Cox Automotive senior economist Charlie Chesbrough, noted. “We expected a 20% year-over-year decline in new-vehicle sales, placing the SAAR at 14.3 million. And that’s just about what we got.”
He added the significant year-over-year sales decline is perhaps more a reflection of last year’s sales strength than a dramatic drop-off in demand in the spring of 2022.
In fact, new-vehicle sales in April might well be considered relatively normal if one considers the past year “a new normal” for the industry. Since June 2021, monthly new-vehicle sales volumes have averaged 1.14 million units, roughly the April result and essentially what is normal now.