Ford Sees Dip in April Sales, But Hybrid Surge Boosts Momentum

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In April, Ford (NYSE:F) witnessed a slight dip in its US sales, with a total of 178,588 vehicles sold, reflecting a decrease of 2.4% compared to the previous year. However, this decline is attributed partly to one fewer selling day this April. Despite this, Ford’s sales for the year remain on an upward trajectory, showing a 4.2% increase.

The highlight of Ford’s sales performance lies in the surge of its hybrid and truck sales, indicating the automaker’s strategic shift towards these vehicle types. Hybrid sales soared by 60% compared to the previous year, reaching nearly 18,000 units. This surge was primarily fueled by significant shipments of the Maverick pickup and the all-new F-150 hybrid.

Jim Baumbick, Ford’s vice president of product development, operations, and quality, revealed that sales of the new F-150 hybrid set a remarkable monthly record, experiencing a staggering 93.6% increase. This achievement positioned the F-150 hybrid as America’s top-selling full-size hybrid pickup for the month. Consequently, Ford shares surged by 2% in midday trade following the release of April’s results.

The robust sales of the F-150 hybrid, coupled with those of the hybrid Maverick pickup, propelled Ford to another record in hybrid sales for April. Maverick hybrid pickup sales surged by 63.5% to 6,401 trucks, contributing to a year-to-date overall increase in Maverick sales of 73.2%. Baumbick emphasized the Maverick’s role in attracting new customers to the Ford brand, with a conquest rate of 59% last year, primarily from the small utility segment.

Ford anticipates sustaining this growth in hybrid vehicles, projecting a significant increase in US hybrid sales over the next five years. By offering hybrid options across 80% of its US lineup within four years, Ford aims to cater to evolving consumer preferences while maintaining fuel efficiency and convenience.

Despite the focus on hybrids, Ford’s electric vehicle sales continue to climb steadily. EV sales surged by nearly 130% in April, exceeding 8,000 units. Notably, the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning witnessed substantial sales growth, albeit with increased incentives to expedite sales.

However, Ford faced challenges in its SUV segment, particularly with the Bronco Sport, Bronco, and Escape crossover. The company anticipates improvements in Explorer sales following a dealer inventory clearance, and the upcoming launch of a new full-size Expedition is expected to bolster SUV sales.

While overall truck sales increased by 2% driven by strong Maverick sales, F-150 sales declined by 7% due to production delays associated with quality issues. Ford’s April sales performance contrasts with slight sales misses by competitors Hyundai and Kia, though Honda observed a 3.2% increase in overall US sales for the month. Ford’s rivals GM and Stellantis do not disclose monthly sales results, adding significance to Ford’s performance report.

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