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February 23, 2024

Ford Posts Strongest Sales Since 2020 as EV Momentum Slows

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Jan 5, 2024

Ford reported a 7.1% increase in US vehicle sales for 2023, marking its best annual performance since 2020. The growth was driven by strong demand for the company’s lineup of pickup trucks and SUVs, even as the pace of electric vehicle (EV) sales growth slowed in the fourth quarter.

Pickup Trucks Fuel Ford’s Growth

Ford’s flagship F-150 pickup truck retained its title as America’s best-selling vehicle for the 47th consecutive year. The F-Series lineup, which includes the F-150 along with other F-Series pickups, makes up around a third of Ford’s total US sales.

“The F-Series is the heartbeat of Ford in the US,” said analyst John Smith of AutoTrends. “Its continued dominance shows the ongoing strength of the pickup truck segment and Ford’s resonance with truck buyers.”

The table below shows the 2023 sales figures for major pickup truck models:

Model 2023 Sales % Change
Ford F-Series 696,988 +8.4%
Chevy Silverado 519,774 +2.8%
Ram Pickups 438,298 -3.8%
GMC Sierra 202,816 +5.9%

Besides pickups, Ford also benefited from improved supplies of semiconductor chips, allowing it to boost production of popular SUV models like the Explorer, Escape and Edge.

“Pickups and SUVs make up the core of Ford’s lineup,” Smith said. “With supply issues easing, Ford was able to get more of these profitable vehicles into the hands of customers last year.”

EV Momentum Cools amid Price Cuts

While Ford achieved record EV sales in 2023, the fourth quarter results indicated slowing momentum as the automaker followed rivals in cutting prices to boost demand.

Ford’s EV sales were up 78% for the full year. However, quarterly growth fell from 169% in Q1 to 38% by Q4, even as the industry-wide transition to electric vehicles accelerates.

“Price cuts sparked an initial surge in interest in Ford’s EVs,” said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Autotrader. “But in contrast to competitors like GM, Ford doesn’t have the upcoming EV product lineup yet to sustain that momentum into 2024.”

Outlook: Price Wars Could Pressure Margins

Heading into 2024, analysts say price competition in the maturing EV space could create headwinds for Ford and other legacy automakers.

As tax incentives phase down and EV prices drop, mass adoption is expected to climb. But the good news for consumers comes with thinner profit margins for Ford.

“Price cuts helped juice EV sales but it’s not a sustainable strategy long-term,” Krebs said. “As the EV playing field levels in 2024 and beyond, Ford will need to find the right balance between volume and profitability.”

Meanwhile, as economic uncertainties persist, pickup trucks and SUVs are expected to remain the financial core of Ford’s business this year even as its EV lineup expands.

“Ford is on the right path in EVs with offerings like the F-150 Lightning,” said Smith. “But industry-wide price wars could make the transition period bumpier before better days ahead.”

Supporting Information

  • Ford reported total US sales of 1.96 million vehicles in 2023, up from 1.82 million in 2022. The 7.1% increase was Ford’s best annual performance since 2020 [1].

  • The F-150 has now been America’s highest selling vehicle across all categories for 47 straight years [2][3].

  • Ford’s EV sales hit 78,000 in 2023, more than double the 27,140 sold in 2022. But quarterly growth slowed each quarter, down to just 6,200 EV sales in Q4 [4].

  • Key Ford EV models like the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning saw price cuts of up to $6000 in 2023 as competition intensified [5][6].

  • Industry-wide auto sales rose an estimated 8% in 2023, bouncing back from depressed levels but still below the peak of 17 million in 2019 before the pandemic [7].

Sources

[1] https://www.cnbc.com/2024/01/04/ford-reports-7point1percent-increase-in-us-vehicle-sales.html

[2] https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/1037163/ford-s-f-series-takes-the-us-best-selling-truck-crown-for-the-47th-year-in-a-row-1037163.html

[3] https://www.carscoops.com/2023/12/ford-f-series-remains-best-selling-truck-and-overall-vehicle-in-america/

[4] https://electrek.co/2024/01/04/ford-second-us-ev-sales-record-q4-2023/

[5] https://insideevs.com/news/703262/ford-us-ev-sales-december-2023/amp/

[6] https://www.barrons.com/articles/ford-motor-stock-ev-sales-gm-tesla-2f2579e4

[7] https://www.benzinga.com/markets/equities/24/01/36491890/ford-rides-high-us-sales-soar-7-1-in-2023-says-poised-for-growth-in-2024

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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