Rocked by a continuing United Auto Workers strike that has forced Ford to lay off part of its workforce as the work stoppage continues, not everything is bleak in the confines of the Blue Oval. Indeed, on the strike front,
Torque News Senior Reporter John Goreham speculates what a Bronco Sport Raptor might be.
Ford has had some success with the Canadian counterpart of the autoworkers as it has settled the strike up there.
Good News Brightens Gloom
Still, the labor unrest continues down here with unknown prospects for the near term.
However, Ford has had success in its Q3 results as it has continued to lead the pickup market. In the third quarter, the automaker posted gains across its gas, electric, and hybrid vehicle lines.
Was Ford's Elimination Of The Focus A Mistake.
F-Series expanded its lead as America’s No. 1 selling truck, followed by record electric and hybrid vehicle sales and strong commercial Transit van sales. Year-to-date, Ford has been America’s best-selling brand.
“We saw strong, balanced sales growth providing choice to our customers in the third quarter, with growth coming from our gas engine, electric, hybrid, and commercial van lineup,” said Andrew Frick, vice president of sales, distribution, and trucks.
“Ford’s truck lineup remains the industry’s top seller. The Maverick and Bronco Sport remain red hot after Ford boosted manufacturing capacity earlier this year. The all-new seventh-generation Mustang is off to a jack-rabbit start in its first full month, up 90 percent in September over last year.”
Ford F-Series Up 13.4 Over 2022 Ford F-Series sales rose 13.4 percent over last year on sales of 190,477 trucks. Year-to-date, F-Series sales totaled 573,370 trucks, outselling the second-place Silverado by 169,949.
Ford Does Have Plans for a Plug-In Hybrid but not for the US Market
Ford Overall Q3 Sales Up
Ford's overall Q3 truck sales, including pickups and vans, are up 15.3 percent over last year on sales of 275,554 vehicles. Big gains came from the all-new Super Duty pickups (up 17.6 percent), Maverick (up 83.4 percent), and Transit (up 28.3 percent). Ford was the No. 1 selling truck manufacturer again in Q3 and year-to-date.
With 825,179 pickups and vans sold through September this year, Ford outsold GM’s pickups and vans by approximately 64,000 vehicles. Ford Electric and Hybrids Best-Ever Sales Ford’s Q3 EV sales were up 14.8 percent on best-ever sales of 20,962 vehicles. Much of this gain came on strong Mustang Mach-E sales, up 42.5 percent for the quarter and the best since its debut in 2021.
In September, Mach-E sales achieved sales of 5,872, a new record and a year-over-year gain of 153 percent for the month. E-Transit was the No. 1 electric van, selling its best-ever quarterly sales results of 2,617, an 89.8 percent increase.
Here's a story about an F-150 Lightning already heading in for repairs.
Ford F-150 Lightning Production
F-150 Lightning is expected to produce sales increases in Q4 as capacity actions at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center are realized. In September, Ford’s overall electric vehicle sales were up 65.0 percent.
Ford hybrid sales, led by F-150 and Maverick hybrid trucks, posted Q3 sales of 34,861 vehicles – up 41.4 percent over last year. As America’s best-selling hybrid truck, F-150 Hybrid sales expanded 46.9 percent on sales of 12,311 trucks. Maverick Hybrid now represents 56.5 percent of all Maverick trucks sold.
Q3 Maverick sales totaled 23,931 trucks, an increase of 83.4 percent over last year. Escape Hybrid and plug-in hybrid sales are overwhelmingly selling on pre-sold customer orders.
Ford’s commercial vans have been a source of strength throughout the year, and Q3 was no exception. Transit van sales climbed 28.3 percent on sales of 34,006 vans.
Transit continues as America’s No. 1 selling commercial van in Q3 and year-to-date, with 98,052 vans sold – up 43.5 percent from a year ago. Ford E-Series vans increased 13.4 percent in Q3 and are up 37.3 percent this year. Based on July's most recent registration data, Ford was No. 1 in commercial sales.
Ford Commercial Sales Up
Ford’s U.S. Class 1-7 commercial truck and van share grew to 40.5 percent, up 2.1 percentage points from a year ago. Lincoln closed the quarter on the strength of Corsair, Nautilus, and Navigator.
While Aviator sales were impacted due to the 360-degree camera recall, parts are arriving at retail stores for new customer vehicles. Navigator Q3 sales expanded 46.0 percent on sales of 4,527 SUVs, while the new Lincoln Corsair sales increased 25.9 percent for the quarter.
Nautilus also realized strong gains, with a 32.4 percent increase over Q3 last year. BlueCruise Growth Customer usage of BlueCruise, Ford’s hands-free highway driving technology, has surpassed 125 million cumulative hands-free driven miles, a 33 percent increase since the end of Q2.
Blue Cruise Use Expands
In Q3, the latest version – BlueCruise 1.3 – started shipping on the Mustang Mach-E to customers and rolling out via a software update to existing Mustang Mach-E owners (2021-2023 model year). Over the next quarter, the software will continue to improve, and Ford will deliver a new version as it becomes available for additional vehicles.
Ford’s all-new 2024 Mustang initiated sales in August. For Q3, Mustang sales totaled 9,844 cars, with its first full month of sales in September. Sixty-seven percent of Mustang’s Q3 sales came in September on sales of 6,575, providing momentum going into Q4. The all-new Mustang is turning on dealer lots in just 6 days.
Record EV Sales
Best-ever Q3 EV sales build momentum into Q4 on strong September sales. Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit achieved the ever Q3 and September monthly sales results.
Ford will continue to adapt its EV offerings to remain competitive in the rapidly evolving market.
Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971. His automotive articles have appeared in venues including Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, and others. You can follow Marc on Twitter or Facebook.