July 02, 2020 10:47 AM
FORD: Q2 volume off 33% with gains for just 2 nameplates
DETROIT — Ford Motor Co.'s second-quarter U.S. light-vehicle sales fell 33 percent, slightly less than most of the industry, as it was battered by the coronavirus pandemic and a massive drop in fleet orders.
Sales to daily rental companies plummeted 94 percent during the quarter as demand for such services dried up, with a majority of people under stay-at-home orders. Additionally, Ford has been directing whatever inventory is available after a two-month plant shutdown away from rental and into retail channels.
Commercial sales fell 78 percent but increased sequentially through the quarter. Ford officials said the automaker has seen very few canceled commercial vehicle orders and expects to begin filling them as the year continues.
Ford said retail sales in the quarter fell 14 percent, although its retail share grew an estimated full percentage point to 13.3 percent.
"Retail for the industry was a lot better than people would have thought back in March," Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service, told Automotive News.
Sales of F-Series pickups, the automaker's most popular vehicle line, dropped 23 percent in the quarter, although Ford said it grew an estimated 2.6 percentage points in retail share. The automaker last week unveiled a redesigned F-150 pickup that's expected to go on sale this year. Ford is planning to stagger the launch at its Dearborn. Mich., and Kansas City, Mo., assembly plants so it can continue building the outgoing pickup at one as the other factory changes over to the new model.
Overall, Ford Motor sedan sales dropped 60 percent, SUV deliveries fell 30 percent, and pickup/van volume fell 27 percent during the latest period. All but two nameplates — the Ranger midsize pickup and Explorer large crossover — posted sales declines.
LaNeve said he's hopeful that Ford and the rest of the industry will continue to recover in the third quarter, although the automaker is monitoring states where coronavirus cases continue to rise. LaNeve said he just returned from a tour of 10 dealerships and was impressed with the social distancing measures they have implemented.
"There's no way for me to predict it," he said. "We've had almost no reports of outbreaks within our dealerships. If the governors close those states down, there's nothing we can do about it. But we're looking for the business to continue moderately improving, and we're hoping for the best in terms of containing the virus."
Brands: Ford, down 34%; Lincoln, down 18%
Notable nameplates: Ford F-Series, down 23%; Mustang, down 27%; Escape, down 49%; Expedition, down 42%; Transit, down 57%; Explorer, up 12%; Ranger, up 20%; Fusion, down 55%; Lincoln Navigator, down 37%; Nautilus/MKX, down 39%; Corsair/MKC, down 8.3%
Incentives: Ford, $4,127 per vehicle, down 3% from a year earlier; Lincoln, $6,937 per vehicle, up 7%, ALG says.
Average transaction price: Ford, $42,613, up 12% from a year earlier; Lincoln, $56,641, up 7.1%, according to ALG.
Inventory: Ford ended the quarter with a 75-day supply of vehicles, according to officials.
Quote: "Our performance in Q2 was really driven by Ford and our dealers' deep commitment to customers and quick action taken to support our customers during these unprecedented times. Our support programs continue with our recent introduction of 'Ford Promise' to provide extra security during these difficult times. It's another way Ford is standing with hard-working Americans," LaNeve said in a statement.