Ford's Impressive June Can't Hide Worrying 2022 Performance

Industry News / 1 Comment

All signs point to an automotive industry in trouble, yet somehow Ford soared in June.

The world economy is not healthy, and rising inflation, astronomically high gas prices, and general anguish have left many industries feeling the pinch. The automotive industry has not been left unscathed either, with the ongoing chip shortage and numerous production delays hampering strong growth figures, not least of all the fallout from the Russia-Ukraine situation. But upon first glance, it's not bad for all brands, as Ford has just posted gains across the board in its June sales report, with figures like a 31.5% improvement compared to June 2021 and segment-specific increases in sales for trucks by 26.4%, SUVs by 36.1%, and EVs by an incredible 76.6%. But these figures don't tell the whole story.

Most manufacturers have been reporting their sales as quarterly sales - and for the most part, the outlook has been poor as both Q2 sales and year-to-date (YTD) sales have been down compared to 2021. Ford has conversely highlighted a successful June, but looking deeper, 2022 isn't shaping up well for the Blue Oval.

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Ford's strong June performance stands in stark contrast to the overall industry sales decline of 11 percent, placing Ford in a strong position with 12.9% of the monthly market share. Ford reports the biggest share gains came from the F-Series, Explorer, and Expedition. More than this, demand remains high as 50% of retail sales came from previously-placed orders, showing that initial interest is turning into genuine sales potential for the brand.

Looking at year-on-year sales for the month of June, Ford saw the most improvement from the Bronco - with a 983.8% increase compared to June 2021. That's because, in June 2022, 8,681 Broncos were delivered compared to just 801 in June last year. The YTD Bronco deliveries are more impressive still, up 6,747.7% with 54,842 delivered in 2022 so far. This makes sense as production ramps up and as Ford rectifies issues with the MIC hardtops that plagued early Broncos.

The Mustang sold more than double as many units in June '22 as it did in the same month in 2021, posting 107.5% gains while the Escape saw a 7.7% increase, the Explorer a 109.5% increase, and the F-Series a 26.3% increase.

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But of all Ford's products, only three have shown YTD improvement compared to this time last year - all of them SUVs. The Bronco is the best of them - obviously - while the Mustang Mach-E (from 12,975 in 2021 to 17,675 in 2022) sales are up 36.2% and the Edge SUV (from 39,355 in 2021 to 51,453 in 2022) is up 30.7%. These three models bolstered Ford's SUV results with a 2.3% growth factor YTD.

But on the whole, Ford saw its overall YTD sales drop by 7.9% with car sales plummeting by 39.5%. This should come as little surprise since the Fusion is no longer in production and last year accounted for 11,453 sales. The Mustang's YTD figures are down from 31,950 to 26,244, representing a 17.9% dip. On the truck front, F-Series sales are down 17.3% with 299,345 trucks moved in 2022 compared to 362,032 in 2021, Range sales are down 42% at 33,840 units YTD. Maverick sales are entirely new with 38,753 YTD while none were delivered in 2021.

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On the Lincoln front, car sales died entirely as Lincoln stopped selling the MKZ and Continental, but YTD SUV sales haven't been able to compensate, with the brand facing a 12.3% deficit, selling only 42,893 vehicles compared to last year's 48,924. Still, the Corsair and Nautilus showed small improvements, up 3.9% and 3.7%, respectively.

The question is, where to from here. Is a strong showing in June a sign that Ford's Q3 will be better? Perhaps. "Amid industry-wide supply constraints, Ford outperformed the industry driven by strong F-Series, Explorer and new Expedition and Navigator SUV sales. Combined, these vehicles represented just over 56 percent of our sales in June," said Andrew Frick, vice president of sales, distribution and trucks.

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He points to the F-150 Lightning as a crucial model in the brand's trajectory going forward citing that "F-150 Lightning was America's best-selling electric truck in June in its first full month of sales." With production ramping up and mainstream rivals yet to hit the market, Ford will want to capitalize on the newcomer.

Ford's average transaction pricing grew by $1,900 per vehicle in June compared to May's data, but with Ford CFO John Lawler previously speaking of more buyers defaulting on financing payments, a recession in the automotive industry is still potentially looming. Still, with demand outstripping supply, if Ford can negotiate the current supply chain shortages, it could still recover the remainder of 2022 and finish on a high.

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