With sales drops reported for the first quarter of 2020, is Ford panicking a bit regarding sales of their best-selling vehicle, the F-150? I would certainly hope not. But, they did just announce some very aggressive incentives to consumers who are thinking about buying a new F-150 truck.
As I reported yesterday, Ford’s sales of the F-150 dropped more than 13 percent while sales of the Chevrolet Silverado increased by more than double that (26.6 percent). As such, GM (with Sierra sales added in) actually outsold F-150 for the first quarter of 2020.
This is no time to panic, nor is it a time to make assumptions that the F-150’s time at the top of the sales board is coming to an end. To be clear, despite the drop in sales, Ford still sold 187,562 F-150s during January, February and March of 2020, all in the middle of a pandemic.
Meanwhile the Silverado saw 144,734 units sold. So the F-150 remains the best-selling nameplate in the truck segment.
All that being said, it’s wise for Ford to offer some more incentives.
Ford F-150 Incentives For April
The Ford Helping Hand financing plan remains in place. I reported on this amazing program that offers 84-month, zero-interest loans along with 3-6 months of deferred payments. Compile that aggressive financing plan with some of these incentives and it should spur on some sales for the F-150.
Ford is offering a discount off MSRP of as much as $5,000 off select models of F-150. Chevy, not to be outdone, is offering $6,000 of select models. So the truck war is on. And the consumer should be the winner.
Thanks to the website The Ford Authority who reported on these incentives:
- $5,000 off 2019 XLT models (off MSRP)
- $3,500 off 2019 XL models (off MSRP)
- $2,250 off 2019 off higher trims including Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and Limited (off MSRP)
- $3,750 off 2020 XLT trims (off MSRP)
What About the 3.0-Liter Power Stroke?
None of the above incentives apply to either the 2019 or 2020 Raptor. But what is also interesting is that there’s no mention of incentives on models with the 3.0-liter Power Stroke.
I wrote about how well the Ram EcoDiesel is versus the 3.0-liter Power Stroke. Then on a couple different Ford truck enthusiasts forums it was hypothesized that the baby Power Stroke would be discontinued. A few savvy shoppers noted you couldn’t even option a 2020 F-150 with the 3.0-liter Power Stroke.
I asked a contact at Ford if it was still available and I was told it was. But with poor sales of this engine, it only makes sense that Ford will get rid of it, after only a short time.
Is Ford Pricing Itself Out Of The Market?
I often get asked about the MSRP of today’s new vehicles. Who can afford those things is what I get asked. And when it comes to new trucks that’s a really good question.
Only the lowest trim, poorly appointed, work-type of truck is affordable with a starting price around the $31,000 level for the base model XL. A King Ranch, Platinum or Limited can see the price go well north of $60,000 and even $70,000 with the right equipment added (you know the equipment you actually want).
So for Ford to hand over a cash discount might just be what is needed to get some F-150s sold. Are trucks too expensive? To people like you and I, yes. But I also say the market will dictate the price and as America’s best-selling vehicle, year after year, it seems the market hasn’t hit that ceiling, yet.
Is Now The Best Time To Buy a Truck?
I cannot answer the question for the average consumer, but I can say that with the coronavirus pandemic, car dealerships are hurting. The dealers that remain open have very people working and even fewer people shopping. So, yes, now is a great time to get a bargain from a dealer.
Compile this with the aggressive incentives Ford is now offering on both 2019 and 2020 models and it seems like a great opportunity to buy a new F-150. And, in this corona economy, car dealerships are making it easier than ever to negotiate online.
In fact, many dealers don’t even require you to come onto the lot and will even deliver a truck to you to test drive and buy. The process has never been more convenient and less pain free. And let’s be honest, buying a car is one of the most dreadful processes. So if it’s easier now, with great incentives, it stands to reason that April is a fantastic time to buy a new Ford F-150.
Dealers will be trying to move 2019 and 2020 inventory now before the next-generation 2021 F-150 arrive later this year. The 13th generation F-150 has been a huge success, but certainly 2020 has not been a great way for it to end. But there’s still time for all that to change.
Even the 2019 Harley-Davidson F-150s are being offered with this special financing, as I reported here.
So, what say you? Are you thinking about upgrading to a 2019 or 2020 F-150? Or are you holding out for the 2021 version? Leave me a comment and let me know.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.