Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) provides two types of vehicle sales data in its annual and quarterly statements.
The vehicle sales data that can be found in Ford’s financial statements are:
(1) Wholesale vehicle sales, and
(2) Retail vehicle sales.
The difference between the two is explained in the following paragraphs.
Wholesale Vehicle Sales
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.
In short, wholesales are merely sales to dealers.
Retail Vehicle Sales
Retail vehicle sales represents primarily sales by dealerships to end customers and are 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 only Ford’s retail vehicle sales data.
Other than retail sales, we are also tracking Ford’s market share and the breakdown of Ford’s sales by region as well as by country.
Besides, this article also briefly talks about Ford’s year-over-year growth rates in global vehicle sales and 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.
Keep in mind 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
The chart above shows Ford’s quarterly vehicle sales by region or by country in the U.S., China and Europe over the past 5 years between 2016 and 2020.
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 retail sales in 2020.
In the chart above, the U.S. has been Ford’s largest market, contributing, on average, half a million vehicle sales per quarter to the company over the past 5 years.
In 4Q 2020, Ford U.S. vehicle sales stood at 543K units, representing a year-over-year decline of 10%.
Ford Motor’s 2nd largest market goes to Europe, at roughly 300k vehicle sales per quarter. However, that number plummeted to only 169k vehicles in Q2 2020, the lowest since 2016.
Fortunately, Ford’s retail sales in Europe recovered significantly by 4Q 2020, with sales totaling 265k vehicles in the same quarter.
China is Ford’s 3rd largest market in terms of retail sales.
Throughout 2020, Ford’s vehicle sales in China have surprisingly been growing, hitting 191k vehicles by 2020 Q4, the highest figure in 2020.
Despite Ford’s improving sales in China in 2020, the sales numbers were still very far off from the company’s prior record high of 300k vehicles sold in 2016.
Moreover, China used to be Ford’s 2nd largest retail market in 2016.
Europe has overtaken China as Ford’s 2nd largest market since 2018.
Ford’s Market Share by Region
The chart above shows Ford’s quarterly market share by region or by country in North America, China and Europe for the period between 2016 and 2020.
The Euro20 consists of Ford’s 20 European traditional markets. These 20 European countries alone made up more than 90% of Ford’s total European retail volumes in 2020.
The North American 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 2020.
Ford Motor’s market share in the North American region averaged more than 10% for the last 5 years.
As of Q4 2020, Ford’s North America market share stood at 12.1%, representing a year-over-year decline of 0.7 ppt.
Similarly, Ford’s market share in Europe declined by 0.6 ppt to 6.8% from a year ago when vehicle sales dropped 15% year over year.
Ford’s market share in China has remained steady at 2.4% in 2020 Q4.
While Ford’s China market share has increased by 0.4 ppt in 4Q 2020, it was a far cry from the 5% market share reported in 2016.
Among the 3 regions, China has been the worst performer in terms of market share, with the latest figures standing at only half of what they used to be 5 years ago.
On the flip side, Ford’s North America and Europe market share remained relatively unchanged.
Ford’s Vehicle Sales YoY Growth Rates in the U.S.
The chart above shows Ford’s total vehicle sales year over year (YoY) growth rates in the U.S. between 2017 and 2020.
Ford’s year-over-year total sales in the U.S. were the worst in 2020.
Ford reported negative growth rates in all quarters in 2020, with 2Q 2020 being the worst at -33%.
In 2020 Q4, Ford’s total vehicle sales in the U.S. plunged by a modest 9.8%, driven primarily by the decline in vehicle sales for both Ford and Lincoln brands.
In the U.S., Ford’s brand vehicles plummeted the most at 10% in 4Q 2020 while Lincoln’s brand vehicles declined by 7% in the same quarter.
Ford’s brand vehicles such as the sedan segments were the hardest hit in Q4 2020, plunging by more than 40% year over year.
While Ford reported negative growth rates in most vehicle segments in 4Q 2020, the SUV segment grew almost 5% in the same quarter, driven primarily by the sales growth in the Explorer and Expedition at 29% and 8%, respectively.
On the other hand, Lincoln brand SUVs suffered a modest decline of 1% year over year in 4Q20.
Ford’s Vehicle Sales YoY Growth Rates in Europe
Ford’s vehicle sales YoY growth in Euro20 also experience a similar decline in 2020, with sales tumbling 4% and 15% year over year in 3Q20 and 4Q20, respectively.
Ford’s total vehicle sales in Euro20 were hit the hardest in the first 2 quarters of 2020, plunging more than 30% year over year.
For the whole year of 2020, Ford’s passenger vehicle sales plunged the most at 32% while commercial vehicle sales declined by 14% in Euro20.
Ford’s Vehicle Sales YoY Growth Rates in China
Surprisingly, Ford’s total vehicle sales in China increased year over year in 3 consecutive quarters in 2020, driven mainly by strong demand for Ford’s SUVs and luxury vehicles following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
In 2020 Q4, Ford and its joint ventures, Changan Ford, JMC and Ford Lio-Ho, sold 191k vehicles in Greater China, a 30.8% increase from a year ago.
For full-year 2020, Ford sold a little over 600k vehicles in Greater China, including Taiwan, representing a growth rate of 6% year on year.
For the 4th quarters of 2020, Ford’s Lincoln and JMC brand vehicles sales growth increased the most at 75% and 28%, respectively, compared to a year ago.
Ford’s Vehicle Sales by Type in the U.S.
The chart above shows Ford’s total vehicle or retail sales by type in the U.S. between 2016 and 2020.
Ford’s U.S. vehicle sales are broken down into trucks, cars and SUVs.
As the chart shows, Ford’s truck sales in the U.S. have held up firmly for the past 4 years and the same trend is observed for SUVs sales.
In 2Q 2020, Ford U.S. truck and SUVs sales plummeted to 238K and 151K units respectively but bounded off the lows in subsequent quarters in 2020.
In 3Q and 4Q 2020, Ford’s truck and SUVs sales have recovered significantly to the pre-pandemic level.
In the 4th quarter of 2020 alone, Ford reported a sales figure of 289k and 217k for trucks and SUVs, respectively, representing an increase of 4% year over year for SUVs.
Ford reported in its financial statement that it’s more profitable to sell larger vehicles such as SUVs and trucks.
The following quote was extracted from one of Ford’s annual statements regarding the profitability of larger vehicle sales.
Ford’s trucks especially the F-Series pickups have been popular with consumers in the U.S.
While Ford’s trucks are more profitable, their sales plummeted by a stunning 12.5% in the 4th quarter of 2020, driven mainly by the decline in Ford’s brand trucks such as the F-series and Rangers.
Nevertheless, Ford’s heavy truck made a comeback in the U.S. in the 4th quarter of 2020 as the reported sales grew as much as 31% compared to a year ago.
While Ford’s truck and SUV sales were slightly unfavorable in 2020 4Q, the car or sedan segment in the U.S. suffered the most, with total car sales plunging by a stunning 41% in the same quarter to only 37k vehicles, the lowest since 2016.
In 2020 Q4, both Ford’s brand and Lincoln’s brand cars sales in the U.S. plunged 42% and 36%, respectively.
Ford’s Global Vehicle Sales by Country
The chart above shows Ford’s global retail or vehicle sales by country on a yearly basis for the period between 2015 and 2020
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 volumes in 2020.
As seen in the chart, the United States has been Ford’s largest retail market from 2015 to 2020, contributing more than 2 million vehicle sales to the company annually.
Despite topping the chart for the past 6 years, Ford’s U.S. vehicle sales were seen declining year over year and reached the lowest at 2.0 million units in 2020.
China claimed the 2nd spot at an average sales figure of 900k per year.
Ford used to sell more than 1 million vehicles in China, but that figure has dropped to only 600k as of 2020.
Ford may have the worst sales results in 2020, with all countries in the chart reporting negative sales growth.
Ford’s vehicle sales have held up nicely in Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany prior to 2020.
However, the company reported a plunged in these countries in retail sales in 2020, with the United Kingdom having the worst result when the reported sales dropped 50% year over year in 2020.
Ford’s Global Market Share by Country
The chart above shows Ford’s global market share by country for the period from 2015 to 2020.
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 2020, dropping to its lowest at 13.7% in 2020 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 12.9% in 2020.
Similarly, Ford’s market share in Brazil declined the most, dropping from 10.4% in 2015 to only 6.8% as of 2020.
Ford’s retail market share in China increased modestly from 2.2% in 2019 to 2.4% in 2020.
However, between 2015 and 2020, Ford has seen its market share in China tumbling more than half from 4.7% in 2015 to only 2.4% in 2020.
The only countries that hold up firmly in terms of market share were Canada and Germany.
Between 2015 and 2020, Ford has maintained its market share in Canada at more than 14%.
As of 2020, Ford’s market share in Canada has grown to 15.1%, making it the only country that sees its market share growing.
In summary, 2020 has been a tumultuous year for Ford. The company saw its vehicle sales tumbling in 3 of its largest markets, namely the U.S., China and Europe, in 2Q 2020.
While vehicle sales have plummeted in mid-2020, we are seeing a significant recovery in Ford’s retail sales in all regions by the end of the 4th quarter, driven primarily by the strong demand for the company’s trucks and SUVs as well as luxury vehicles.
For full-year 2020, Ford’s total vehicle sales have recovered to their pre-pandemic levels in all regions, with trucks and SUVs being the best performing segments.
However, Ford’s car or sedan sales in the U.S. continued to slide to its new low by the end of 2020.
Ford has a lot of work to do in the car or sedan segment.
References and Credits
1. Vehicle sales and market share data were obtained and referenced from quarterly and annual statements which can be found in Ford’s Financials and Filings.
2. Growth rates are calculated by the author. Rounding errors may exist.
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