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Tracking Ford Global Vehicle Sales and Market Share

Ford by Flickr Image.

Ford (NYSE:F) provided two types of vehicle sales data in its quarterly and annual financial filings. The vehicle sales data disclosed are:

(1) Wholesale vehicle sales, and
(2) Retail vehicle sales.

The difference between the two is explained in the following paragraphs.

Wholesale vehicle sales are basically vehicles sold to dealerships and the majority of such sales is correlated with the company’s recognized revenue in the income statements.

Retail vehicle sales represents primarily sales by dealerships to end customers and is based on estimated vehicle registrations which include medium and heavy trucks. For such sales, Ford does not recognize the revenue generated from the sales of dealerships to end customers and in most parts, the retail sales data merely represents the strength of Ford’s brands.

With the above said, this article is covering Ford’s retail vehicle sales data extracted from the company’s financial reports. Other than retail sales, we are also tracking the respective market share of Ford’s retail sales. Besides, this article also briefly talks about the year over year growth rates of Ford’s global vehicle sales by country and Ford’s vehicle sales by types in the U.S.

For readers who are interested in Ford’s wholesale vehicle sales data, please visit this page: Ford’s vehicle wholesale deliveries.

Also, take note that vehicle sales and retail sales are used interchangeably in this article and they are meant the same.

Let’s dive in!

Ford’s Vehicle Sales by Region

Ford vehicle sales by region

Ford vehicle sales by region

The chart above shows Ford’s quarterly vehicle sales by region or by country in the U.S., China and Europe over the past 4 years between 2016 and 2020.

For your information, the Euro20 stated in the chart above represents Ford’s 20 European traditional markets which are Austria, Belgium, Britain, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland.

The U.S., China and Euro20 are Ford’s 3 largest markets in the world and their combined sales made up roughly 80% of Ford’s total vehicle sales in 2019 based on the Q4 2019 annual report.

In the current chart, the U.S. has been Ford’s largest market, contributing roughly half a million vehicle sales per quarter to the company over the past 4 years. As of 2Q 2020, Ford U.S. vehicle sales plunged to the lowest at only 434K units, representing a year over year drop of 33.2%.

The 2nd largest market goes to Europe, contributing roughly 300k vehicle sales per quarter to Ford. However, that number tumbled to only 169k units in Q2 2020, the lowest since 2016.

China is Ford’s 3rd largest market in terms of retail vehicle sales. In 2Q 2020, Ford’s China vehicle sales surprisingly ticked higher to 159K units, representing a year-over-year increase of 3% or 79% when measured sequentially.

Despite the improving sales in China in the 2nd quarter of 2020, the number was still far from the quarterly vehicle sales of 300k achieved back in 2016.

Moreover, China used to be Ford’s 2nd largest retail market back in 2016 but the place has since been overtaken by the European market in 2018 due to the continuous declining vehicle sales in China.

Ford’s Market Share by Region

Ford market share by region

Ford market share by region

The chart above shows Ford’s quarterly market share by region or by country in North America, China and Europe over the past 4 years between 2016 and 2020.

As mentioned, the Euro20 consists of Ford’s 20 European traditional markets and these 20 European countries alone made up more than 90% of Ford’s total European retail market in 2019. The North America market consists of the U.S., Mexico and Canada, with the U.S. making up roughly 85% of Ford’s North America retail sales in 2019.

According to Ford’s financial statements, market share is calculated by dividing the reported retail sales of Ford’s brands by total industry volume in the relevant market or region.

It’s no surprise to see Ford’s market share in North America being the highest among the 3 regions since the U.S. has been contributing the highest sales to the company over the past 4 years.

As of Q2 2020, Ford’s market share in North America held up nicely at 14.2% despite experiencing a record plunge in vehicle sales in the U.S. in the same quarter.

Similarly, Ford’s market share in Europe also held up nicely at 7.1% despite having the worst sales in 2Q 2020.

China has been the worst performer in terms of market share as seen from the chart. Over the past 4 years, Ford’s market share in China has dropped by more than 50% between 2016 and 2019.

As of 2Q 2020, Ford posted a market share of only 2.5% in China’s retail market, a far cry from the market share of 5% back in 2016. However, this figure ticked higher in the 2nd quarter, suggesting a possible turnaround for Ford’s China sales.

Among the 3 regions, China has been the worst performer for Ford’s vehicle sales as seen from the 50% drop in market share over the past 4 years. On the flip side, Ford’s North America and Europe market share has been relatively unchanged.

In fact, Ford’s North America market share was seen trending higher since 2019 despite experiencing the COVID-19 disruption which started in 2020.

Ford’s Vehicle Sales YoY Growth Rates in the U.S.

Ford vehicle sales YoY growth in the US

Ford vehicle sales YoY growth in the U.S.

The chart above shows Ford’s vehicle sales year over year (YoY) growth rates in the U.S. between 2017 and 2020.

Ford’s year over year sales in the U.S. was the worst in 2020, with the figures plunging 12.5% and 33.2% in 1Q20 and 2Q20, respectively.

The decline was mainly driven by the COVID-19 outbreak which has ravaged the North American automotive industry since 2020.

Ford’s brand vehicles such as the sedan segments were the hardest hit in Q2 2020, plunging by more than 60% year over year.

On the other hand, Lincoln brand vehicles were not as worse as the Ford brand vehicles, with sales declining by a modest 18% year over year in 2Q20.

Ford’s Vehicle Sales YoY Growth Rates in Europe

Ford vehicle sales YoY growth in Europe

Ford vehicle sales YoY growth in Europe

Ford’s vehicle sales YoY growth in Euro20 also experience a similar decline in 2020, with sales tumbling 32.9% and 51.3% year over year in 1Q20 and 2Q20, respectively.

In 2Q 2020, Ford’s passenger vehicle sales were the hardest hit in Euro20, plunging 56% year over year.

On the other hand, Ford’s commercial vehicle sales in Euro20 plunged by a modest 40% year over year in Q2 2020.

Ford’s Vehicle Sales YoY Growth Rates in China

Ford vehicle sales YoY growth in China

Ford vehicle sales YoY growth in China

In a surprise turn, Ford’s China vehicle sales increased by a modest 3% year over year in 2Q 2020, mainly driven by strong demand following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

In 2Q20, Ford and its joint ventures, Changan Ford, JMC and Ford Lio-Ho, sold 159K vehicles in Greater China.

The improving sales in 2Q20 in China were supported by a refreshed vehicle lineup, including the addition of the all-new Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair.

Ford’s Vehicle Sales by Type in the U.S.

Ford vehicle sales by type in the US

Ford vehicle sales by type in the US

The chart above shows Ford’s retail sales by type in the U.S. between 2016 and 2020.

Since the U.S. has been Ford’s biggest market for its automotive products over the years, Ford has exclusively reported the breakdown of the vehicle sales into trucks, cars and SUVs for the U.S. market.

As the chart shows, Ford’s truck sales in the U.S. have held up for the past 4 years and the same trend is observed for SUVs sales. As of 2Q 2020, Ford U.S. truck and SUVs quarterly sales plummeted to 238K and 151K units respectively.

Prior to 2020, Ford’s truck and SUVs sales in the U.S. had been on an uptrend since 2016, especially for trucks that have hit a record high in 4Q 2019 at 330K units.

It’s a totally different story when it comes to car or sedan sales in the United States. Ford’s car sales in the U.S. have been devastating since 2016, hitting a record low at only 45K units in Q2 2020.

Based on the quarterly results in the current chart, we can conclude that Ford has been having good sales in the truck and SUV segment while suffering badly in the sedan segment. This trend is expected as Ford has pointed out in its financial report that it’s more profitable to sell larger vehicles such as SUVs and trucks.

The following quote was extracted from Ford’s 4Q 2019 annual report regarding the profitability of larger vehicle sales.

  • “Ford’s results are dependent on sales of larger, more profitable vehicles, particularly in the United States. A shift in consumer preferences away from larger, more profitable vehicles (including trucks and utilities) at levels beyond our current planning assumption, whether because of spiking fuel prices, a decline in the construction industry, government actions or incentives, or other reasons, could result in an immediate and substantial adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.”

Ford’s truck especially the F-Series pickups have been popular with consumers in the U.S. In the 2Q 2020 quarter, Ford reported that the F-Series retail share expanded by 2.6% year over year with 181K units sold, reaching a market share of as much as 33% and has become one of America’s best-selling pickups.

In the SUV segment, Ford Explorer sales were up 12.4% year on year with 45k units sold in Q2 2020, driving Ford retail share growth in the same quarter. Additionally, the Ford Explorer retail share has reached 17.5%, achieving as much as a 6% gain year over year in retail share.

Ford’s Annual Vehicle Sales by Country

Ford annual vehicle sales by country

Ford annual vehicle sales by country

The chart above shows Ford’s annual vehicle sales by country over the past 5 years between 2015 and 2019.

The countries shown in the chart are the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, Canada and China. Cumulatively, these countries made up more than 70% of Ford’s global retail sales in 2019.

As the chart shows, the United States has been Ford’s largest retail market from 2015 to 2019, contributing more than 2 million of vehicle sales to the company annually. Despite topping the chart for the past 5 years, Ford’s U.S. vehicle sales were seen declining year over year and reached the lowest at 2.4 million units in 2019. The decline represents a drop of roughly 8% from 2016 to 2019.

The 2nd spot went to China which in the past has contributed more than 1 million vehicle sales to Ford annually. However, China retail sales has seriously declined over the past 5 years and reached only 0.6 million units in 2019, representing a decline of 45% from the 2016 figure.

The rest of the countries have been flat in terms of vehicle sales over the past 5 years, with Brazil’s vehicle sales declined slightly in 2016 from 0.3 million to 0.2 million units.

Ford’s Global Market Share by Country

Ford market share by country

Ford market share by country

The chart above shows Ford’s global market share by country.

While the U.S. may have been Ford’s biggest customer, the company’s retail market share in the U.S. has declined slightly between 2015 and 2019, dropping to its lowest at 13.8% in 2019 from its high of 14.7% back in 2015.

Ford also experienced a similar market share decline in the United Kingdom, with market share dropping from 14.3% in 2015 to 13% in 2019.

Similarly, Ford’s market share in Brazil also declined slightly between 2015 and 2019, dropping from 10.4% to only 8.1%.

Ford’s retail market share in China dropped the most from 4.7% in 2015 to only 2.2% in 2019.

The only market that has held up in terms of market share has been Germany between 2015 and 2019. In short, Ford’s market share in Germany has increased slightly higher to 8.3% compared to the 2015 figure.

Conclusion

In summary, Ford’s global vehicle sales have declined in 3 of its largest markets in the world. The decline has got worse in 2Q 2020, driven largely by the COVID-19 outbreak.

In terms of market share, Ford’s market share has declined the most in China while remaining flat in North America and Europe.

Ford’s year over year growth rates for retail vehicle sales has also declined across all regions with 2Q 2020 quarter being the worst over the past 4 years. However, Ford’s retail sales were up by a modest 3% in China in the same quarter.

While we have seen declining vehicle sales across all regions and countries, Ford’s trucks and SUVs sales in the U.S. have held up and even increased slightly as seen in 4Q 2019 result. However, Ford’s trucks and SUVs sales have succumbed to the slowing demand in 2Q 2020, declining year over year by more than 10%.

In short, Ford has probably given up its sedan market in the U.S. considering that its car sales have been sliding down the hill over the years and switched to the more profitable vehicles such as trucks and SUVs.

References and Credits

1. Financial figures in all charts and tables in this article were obtained and referenced from financial reports and vehicle sales reports available in Ford’s Financials and Filings.

2. Featured images in this article are used under creative commons license and sourced from the following websites: More Cars and Mike Mozart.

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