It’s hard to believe that 2021 is already half over. For automakers, this is a significant checkpoint for gauging yearly sales performance and there’s no denying that the global microchip shortage is affecting some brands more than others. It seems Ford is among the harder hit, as figures aren’t looking good for the Blue Oval save for one key area – electric vehicles. As such, the news might not be as dire as it appears. More on that in a bit.
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Ford’s total retail sales for June 2021 are down a staggering 32.5 percent compared to last year, and lest we forget, June 2020 wasn’t exactly a great time to be in the auto business. Taking a look a specific models, the Ford Explorer is down 38.4 percent, the Escape is down 39.9 percent, and the Edge is off 53.1 percent. The news isn’t quite as bad in the truck segment but it’s still very worrisome with F-Series down a whopping 29.9 percent. Ranger sales fell by just 3.7 percent, and with Fusion now dead, Mustang is Ford’s only car for the masses. Its sales fell a chilling 50.5 percent.
Now for the good news. Overall year-to-date sales are still up, but just barely at 4.9 percent. In June, sales for the Expedition rose 42.8 percent, with its upscale Lincoln Navigator sibling climbing 15.5 percent. Transit Connect sales also climbed slightly at 6.3 percent.
Those are small victories to be sure, but it’s important to note that Ford also has new offerings adding to the bottom line that didn’t exist in June 2020. 8,355 Bronco Sports were sold last month, and 801 full-size Broncos finally reached buyers. As for the Mustang Mach-E, it clocked 2,465 sales in June 2021 and yes, that beat the conventional Mustang which only found 2,240 buyers for the period. Even the EcoSport outsold Mustang at 3,520 sales.
Here’s where things might not be as dire as they sound. Ford’s spin on this sales report is that electrified vehicle sales are up 117 percent in June. By electrified, Ford means the Mach-E as well as various hybrid offerings, and looking at it from a year-to-date perspective it’s indeed a positive trend. Mach-E total sales thus far sit at 12,975 vehicles, and Ford has sold 17,039 F-150 PowerBoost hybrid trucks. Year-to-date, both standard and plug-in hybrid versions of the Escape are up 45.9 percent. Electricity is the future of motoring, and it seems like Ford customers are following the automaker in that direction.
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Still, the microchip shortage and resulting production problems must have Ford executives very worried at the moment. Year-to-date statistics aren’t quite as gloomy, suggesting the chip dilemma struck especially hard for June. However, looking at sales data from its crosstown rivals – notably Ram and Chevrolet – Ford is suffering harder than most.