Ford (NYSE:F) vehicle deliveries number is one of the most followed data among investors and analysts. The reason being that the data reflects the demand for the company’s vehicles and thus directly, the financial well-being of the business.
There are two types of vehicle deliveries numbers disclosed by Ford in the quarterly and annual filings and they are:
(1) wholesale vehicle sales, and
(2) retail vehicle sales.
Wholesale vehicle deliveries consists primarily of vehicles sold to dealerships and Ford recognizes such deliveries as revenue when the company ships the vehicles to dealerships from its manufacturing facilities. Therefore, the majority of such sales correlates with Ford’s recognized revenue disclosed in the income statements.
On the other hand, retail vehicle deliveries represents primarily sales by dealerships to end customers and is based on estimated vehicle registrations. As such, Ford’s retail vehicle deliveries does not correlate with recognized revenue in the income statements.
In this article, we will cover only Ford’s wholesale vehicle deliveries and the respective quarterly as well as year on year growth rates. Besides, we will also break down Ford’s wholesale vehicle deliveries by regions and by types. These data will be laid out in the following series of charts for the previous 4 years between 2016 and 2020.
For readers who are interested in knowing about Ford’s retail vehicle sales, please visit this page: Ford’s Global Vehicle Sales and Market Share.
Ford’s Total Wholesale Vehicle Deliveries
The chart above shows Ford’s quarterly total wholesale vehicle deliveries between 2016 and 2019.
The data in the chart is the sum of all the vehicles delivered by Ford’s subsidiaries all around the world. As the chart shows, Ford’s quarterly wholesale vehicle deliveries have been trending downward since 2016, reaching the lowest at 1.24 million units in 3Q19 before modestly increasing to 1.35 million units in 4Q19.
However, Ford’s global vehicle wholesale plunged again in 1Q 2020, reaching the lowest at only 1.1 million units, representing a year over year decline of more than 20%.
Furthermore, the downtrend continued when Ford delivered in average 1.66 million of vehicles per quarter back in 2016 compared to only 1.35 millions of vehicles in average per quarter in 2019. The decline in quarterly vehicle wholesale between 2016 and 2019 represents a drop of nearly 19% over the 4-year period.
Also, Ford probably experienced the worst vehicle deliveries in 2019 when almost all quarterly data reached record low compared to the same quarters in previous years. For instance, Ford delivered 1.35 millions of vehicles in 4Q 2019 which is the lowest among all Q4 delivery numbers. Similarly, the wholesale vehicle deliveries of 1.1 million units reported in Q1 2020 was also the lowest among all Q1 delivery numbers.
Ford’s Wholesale Vehicle Deliveries By Regions
The chart above breaks down Ford’s wholesale vehicle deliveries according to regions such as North America, South America, Europe and China.
Take note that Ford has separately reported the China vehicle delivery starting 1Q 2020 and recast the historical data to only 4Q 2018.
According to the chart, North America has been the biggest market for Ford, contributing roughly 700,000 of vehicles deliveries per quarter to the company. The 2nd largest market goes to Europe at roughly 400,000 vehicles deliveries per quarter and the 3rd place was claimed by China at about 120,000 vehicle deliveries in average per quarter.
The chart also shows that all market segments have declined over the 4-year period, with China being the worst offender. In 4Q 2019, Ford delivered only 159,000 vehicles in China compared to 171,000 a year ago, representing a decline of 7% year over year.
Ford’s China vehicle wholesale deliveries plunged again in 1Q 2020, dropping to only 81,000 units compared to 115,000 vehicles delivered a year ago in the same quarter. The decline represents a year over year drop of nearly 30% in 1Q 2020.
Ford also experienced the worst decline in North America region in Q1 2020 when wholesale vehicle deliveries were only 619,000 units compared to 753,000 units a year earlier, representing a year over year drop of roughly 18%.
The European market also saw similar year over year decline of more than 25% in 1Q 2020 when vehicle deliveries were only 288,000 units compared to 391,000 units a year ago.
Finally, South America didn’t fare better either, with year over year decline of more than 10% in 1Q 2020. However, since its absolute numbers of vehicle deliveries represent only 5% of Ford’s total deliveries, the impact to the company’s total sales has been minimal.
Ford’s Wholesale Vehicle Deliveries By Types in the United States
The chart above shows the breakdown by vehicle type of Ford’s quarterly wholesale vehicle deliveries in the U.S. between 2018 and 2020.
Accordingly, truck sales in the U.S. have increased over the past 2 years and recorded 322,000 units in 4Q 2019, representing a year on year increase of 2%. However, Ford’s U.S. trucks sales have plummeted in 1Q 2020, dropping to only 266,000 units compared to 324,000 units a year ago, representing a year over year decline of 18%.
On the other hand, car sales in the U.S. plummeted and fell to the lowest level at only 39,000 units in 4Q 2019 compared to 94,000 units recorded in the same quarter a year ago. Similar trend is also observed for the 1Q 2020 quarter when Ford’s car wholesale in the U.S. crumbled by more than 30% to only 74,000 vehicles.
SUV sales in the U.S. have stayed roughly flat for the past 2 years but recorded a year on year decline of 11% and 32% in 1Q19 and 2Q19 respectively. In 1Q 2020, Ford’s SUV or crossover wholesale plunged 16% year over year or 20% sequentially to 194,000 units.
It seems like all Ford’s vehicle segments have plunged in terms of vehicle wholesale deliveries in the U.S. in 1Q 2020. However, Ford’s SUV or crossover declined the least year over year in 1Q 2020 among all vehicle segments.
When we look at the long-term trend between 2018 and 2020, Ford’s trucks and SUVs wholesale in the U.S. have been relatively strong especially for the truck segment in which year over year vehicle deliveries have even increased throughout 2019. This trend actually bodes well for the company’s profitability as larger vehicle sales such as trucks and SUVs are inherently more profitable.
As pointed out by Ford in its Q4 2019 annual filing, the following quote extracted from Ford’s Q4 2019 annual filing shows that Ford’s profitability has been largely depending on sales of large vehicles such as trucks and crossovers:
Judging from the trend, Ford should be able to continue selling more trucks and SUVs in the near future considering that fuel prices have reached rock bottom in 2020.
With this said, the increasing number of trucks and SUVs deliveries would directly affect Ford’s automotive revenue growth and the next chart proves this trend.
Ford’s Wholesale and Automotive Revenue in North America
The chart above shows Ford’s wholesale vehicle sales and automotive revenue in North America between 2016 and 2019.
As seen from the chart, a significant divergence emerged between the trends in the two plots. For instance, wholesale vehicle deliveries have trended lower in North America since 2016 while automotive revenues have increased over the years and reached new high in 2019 at $98 billion. In contrast, wholesale vehicle deliveries in North America region dropped to record low at roughly 2.75 million units in 2019.
The opposite trends between the two plots can be largely attributed to the increasing number of trucks and SUVs deliveries over the years in the North America region as seen in prior chart. As mentioned, trucks and SUVs are able to command higher selling prices and thus, higher profits compared to passenger sedans.
Ford’s Wholesale Vehicle Deliveries Quarterly Growth Rate (Q/Q)
The current chart shows Ford’s sequential growth rates for total wholesale vehicle deliveries between 2016 and 2020.
As the chart shows, sequential growth rates have mostly been in the negative territory with only a handful of quarters showing positive figures.
In a calculation which I did not show here, the average sequential growth rates was -2.2% for all periods shown in the chart%.
In 1Q 2020, Ford reported a -16.8% sequential growth with 1.12 million of vehicles delivered compared to 1.35 million of vehicles delivered in Q4 2019. On a quarterly basis, Ford delivered roughly 200,000 vehicles less in 1Q 2020 compared to the prior quarter.
Ford’s Wholesale Vehicle Deliveries Year On Year Growth Rate (Y/Y)
The chart above shows Ford’s year on year (yoy) growth rates for total wholesale vehicle deliveries between 2017 and 2020.
Ford’s year on year growth rates have performed even worst than sequential growth with only 1 quarter showing positive number. The rest of the quarters show negative figures with 2019 and 2020 being the worst performers as year on year growth rates are close the low double-digit figures.
Similarly, a separate calculation shows that the average year on year growth rate was nearly -8% over the 3-year period.
Ford reported a year over year growth rate of -21% in 1Q 2020 when total vehicle wholesale declined to only 1.1 million during the same quarter. This figure represents one of the worst reported quarters for Ford over the past 3 years.
In summary, Ford’s total wholesale vehicle deliveries have trended lower between 2016 and 2020 and the company delivered only 1.1 million of vehicles in 1Q 2020. This compares to 1.4 million vehicle delivered a year ago, representing a year over year decline of 21%.
The North America region has been Ford’s largest automobile market over the 4-year period from 2016 to 2020, contributing roughly 700,000 of vehicles deliveries per quarter for the company. Europe has been Ford’s 2nd largest market over the past 4 years with roughly 370,000 vehicle delivered on a quarterly basis.
This was followed by China which took the 3rd spot as one of Ford’s largest market, delivering 130,000 vehicles on average on a quarterly basis.
Ford has been increasingly selling more trucks and SUVs in the U.S. market between 2018 and 2020, with vehicle wholesale deliveries rising in all vehicle segments except for the sedans. However, Ford’s has succumbed to the COVID-19 outbreak since 2020 and all vehicle segments wholesale deliveries declined substantially in 1Q 2020.
References and Credits
1. Financial figures in all charts and tables were obtained from Ford’s Financials and Filings.
2. Featured images in this article are used under creative commons license and sourced from the following websites: Mike Mozart.
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