Ford Motor Co. reported U.S. sales growth of 10.7% during May, rising to 170,933 units, thanks to strong demand for the Ford F-150 and E-Series version of the Transit van.
Ford’s sales gains were not as big as those posted by Honda, where sales jumped by more than 50%, but they generally were in line with the double-digit increases posted by other automakers reporting monthly. The results reflect a market that is gaining strength despite rising interest rates.
The U.S. economy added 339,000 jobs last month and strong job growth has traditionally been considered a harbinger of stronger vehicles sales since the employed need vehicles to get to work and employers require more vehicles to keep pace with demand for their products or services.
F-Series enjoys a big month
Sales of F-Series pickup, long the centerpiece of Ford sales, jumped 42.7% year over to 70,566 units, including 1,707 units of its electric F-150 Lightning.
Sales of the E-Series van sales grew 135.5% year over to 2,732 units.
Overall Ford’s truck sales totaled 98,168 units, up 31.6% but sales of utility vehicles dropped 9.7% to 69,206 units.
Sales of Ford’s electrified vehicle dipped 13% in May despite the success of the E-Series as sales of the Mach-E, one of the first EVs to reach the market, continued to fade. Ford is currently re-tooling the Mexican plant where the Mach-E to build more units.
Ford’s hybrids sales grow
However, Ford’s sales of hybrid vehicles increased 20%, making the company the second-largest seller of hybrids after Toyota.
Ford announced this week it planned to work with Uber Technologies to deliver a new lease option for rideshare drivers. The new Ford Drive pilot program will offer flexible lease on Mach-E models.
A flexible lease allows rideshare drivers to select their Mustang Mach-E for between one- and four-month increments, depending on the location. The vehicle is delivered to the driver within two weeks, and they use the Ford Drive app to manage payments and service in cities along the West Coast such as San Diego and San Francisco.
Last month, Ford CEO Jim Farley and Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced an agreement with Tesla, which gives Ford access to more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers across the U.S. and Canada. The arrangement will double the number of fast-chargers available to Ford electric vehicle customers starting Spring 2024, according to Farley.
“The other thing that people should understand, that I didn’t even a year ago, is that there are degrees of electrification from, let’s say, hybrid on the ICE side all the way to pure EV, let’s say a 400-mile EV,” Farley noted this week at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference
“We always thought of it as an either/or. It’s not a monolith. What we’re seeing, especially in China, is infinite degrees of electrification. We have (extended range electric vehicles) now that are very popular in China, that go 200 miles all electric but have a combustion engine for 600-mile range. We have PHEVs that now go 100 miles, some go only to 30 miles,” Farley noted.
“There is a range compared to a year ago. We need to think of the electrification journey not as a monolith that will go from HEV to pure EV. That’s not how it’s working out in the last year,” he added.