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Tracking Ford Wholesale Vehicle Deliveries Numbers

Ford Motors (NYSE:F) presents 2 types of vehicle deliveries numbers in its annual and quarterly releases, and they are

(1) wholesale vehicle sales, and
(2) retail vehicle sales.

The difference between the two is explained below.

Wholesale Vehicle Sales

Wholesale vehicle sales or deliveries consists primarily of vehicles sold to dealerships.

Such vehicles are shipped directly to the dealerships from Ford’s manufacturing facilities or warehouses.

Ford recognizes such deliveries as revenue when the shipments safely arrive in the dealerships.

Therefore, the majority of such sales correlate with Ford’s recognized revenue presented in the company’s income statements.

Retail Vehicle Sales

On the other hand, retail vehicle deliveries represents sales by dealerships to end customers and are based on estimated vehicle registrations.

However, Ford does not recognize such sales as part of the company’s revenue or income.

Therefore, Ford’s retail vehicle sales do not correlate with the company’s revenue figures in the income statements.

What We Discuss Here

In this article, we cover only Ford’s vehicle wholesale deliveries.

For Ford’s retail sales data, please head out to the following page.

Aside from the vehicle wholesale data, this article also covers quarterly and year-on-year growth rates.

Besides, we will look at Ford’s vehicle wholesale deliveries by region and by type.

Let’s move on!

Ford’s Vehicle Wholesale Deliveries – Quarterly

Ford vehicle wholesale deliveries - quarterly

Ford vehicle wholesale deliveries – quarterly

* Vehicle wholesale figures are obtained from Ford’s quarterly and annual reports.

The chart above shows Ford’s quarterly total wholesale vehicle deliveries between 2016 and 2020.

The total vehicle wholesale deliveries presented is the aggregate of all deliveries by Ford’s subsidiaries as well as its unconsolidated affiliates in China.

According to the chart, Ford’s quarterly wholesale vehicle deliveries have been trending downward since 2016, with the delivery figure reaching an average of only 1 million vehicles in 2020 per quarter.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused Ford’s wholesale vehicle deliveries to decline to only 645,000 units in 2Q 2020, the lowest quarterly figure seen in the last 5 years.

However, Ford’s wholesale vehicle deliveries recovered significantly to their pre-COVID levels in subsequent quarters.

As of 2020 4Q, Ford delivered about 1.2 million vehicles on a wholesale basis, which was slightly above its average in 2020.

All in all, Ford experienced the worst vehicle delivery result in 2020 in the last 5 years.

Ford’s Vehicle Wholesale Deliveries – TTM

Ford vehicle wholesale deliveries - ttm

Ford vehicle wholesale deliveries – ttm

* TTM figures came from the author’s own calculation and consist of the sum of the quarterly data on a trailing 12-month or 4-quarter basis.

To clearly see the long-term trend of Ford’s vehicle wholesale deliveries, we look at the TTM or trailing 12-month plot which is shown in the chart above for the period from 2016 to 2020.

According to the chart, Ford’s TTM vehicle deliveries have been declining in the last 5 years.

Ford used to deliver more than 6 million vehicles in 2016 on a wholesale basis.

However, that figure has dropped to only 4 million units in 2020, more than a 30% drop from its peak figure in 2016.

As of 4Q 2020, Ford TTM wholesale vehicle deliveries totaled about 4.2 million units, the lowest Ford has ever reported in the last 5 years.

Ford’s TTM vehicle deliveries would have been devastating in the 4th quarter of 2020 if not for the recovery seen in the 2nd half of 2020.

All in all, Ford TTM vehicle deliveries were still on a downward trend although the company has made significant quarterly improvement in the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2020.

Ford’s Vehicle Wholesale Deliveries By Regions – Quarterly

Ford vehicle wholesale by region - quarterly

Ford vehicle wholesale by region – quarterly

* Vehicle wholesale by region is obtained from Ford’s quarterly and annual reports.

The chart above breaks down Ford’s wholesale vehicle deliveries according to regions such as North America, South America, Europe and China.

Ford only broke down the China vehicle delivery data starting in 1Q 2020 and recast the historical data that dates back to 4Q 2018.

According to the chart, North America has been the biggest wholesale market for Ford between 2016 and 2020, contributing close to 700,000 vehicle deliveries per quarter to the company.

The 2nd largest market goes to Europe at roughly 350,000 vehicle deliveries per quarter and the 3rd place was claimed by China at about 150,000 vehicle deliveries on average per quarter.

The chart also shows that Ford’s vehicle wholesale has declined in all market segments over the last 4 years and the decline was the worst in 2020.

For example, Ford reported only 272,000 vehicle deliveries in 2Q 2020 in North America, the lowest since 2016.

Similarly, Ford delivered only 14,000 vehicles in South America in 2020 Q2, the worst the company has ever seen.

While 2020 has been the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ford managed to recover from the vehicle delivery decline reported in the 1st half of 2020.

In the 2nd half of 2020, Ford made considerable improvements in vehicle wholesale deliveries in all regions.

In particular, Ford recovered considerably in Europe and China in the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2020 in terms of vehicle wholesale.

As of 2020 4Q, Ford’s quarterly vehicle wholesale surged to 540,000, 339,000, and 202,000 units in North America, Europe and China respectively.

Finally, we did see an improvement in South America in terms of vehicle wholesale in the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2020.

Ford delivered about 48,000 and 63,000 vehicles in South America in the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2020, respectively.

However, since South America represent only 5% of Ford’s total sales, its impact on the company’s overall sales has been minimal.

Ford’s Vehicle Wholesale Deliveries By Regions – TTM

Ford vehicle wholesale by region - ttm

Ford vehicle wholesale by region – ttm

* TTM figures came from the author’s own calculation and consist of the sum of the quarterly data on a trailing 12-month or 4-quarter basis.

Again, to clearly see the long-term trend of Ford’s vehicle deliveries, we look at the TTM plot which is shown in the chart above.

The TTM plot shows that Ford’s vehicle wholesale deliveries have declined since 2016 in all regions except China.

Ford’s China vehicle deliveries have actually increased and reached more than 600,000 as of 2020 Q4 on a TTM basis.

For other regions such as North America and Europe, Ford vehicle deliveries have plunged to all-time lows at 2 million and 1 million units, respectively.

Despite the drastic recovery reported in the 2nd half of 2020 on a quarterly basis, Ford still failed to lift the declining trend in TTM vehicle deliveries.

Ford’s Vehicle Wholesale By Type in the U.S. – Quarterly

Ford vehicle wholesale by type in the U.S. - quarterly

Ford vehicle wholesale by type in the U.S. – quarterly

* Vehicle wholesale by type is obtained from Ford’s quarterly and annual reports.

The chart above shows the breakdown by vehicle type of Ford’s quarterly wholesale in the U.S. between 2018 and 2020.

Only 3 types of vehicle deliveries are shown in the chart, namely truck, SUV and car.

Accordingly, Ford’s truck sales in the U.S. have increased between 2018 and 2019 but have plunged in 2020, driven mainly by the disruption brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak.

In 2020 2Q, Ford delivered only 138,000 trucks in the U.S., the lowest the company has ever reported.

Other vehicle types, including SUV and car, have also plunged in the same quarter in 2Q 2020 to 75,000 and 26,000 vehicles, respectively.

Ford’s vehicle deliveries recovered in the 2nd half of 2020 for only trucks and SUVs.

Ford’s car or sedan sales in the U.S. continued to plunge to a new low at only 14,000 vehicles in 2020 Q4.

In contrast, Ford’s truck and SUV sales recovered by 2020 4Q, with each reporting 239,000 and 230,000 deliveries, respectively.

In short, Ford’s truck and SUV or crossover wholesale in the U.S. have been relatively strong, with sales bouncing in a relatively short period.

Therefore, trucks and SUVs continued to be the best-selling vehicles for Ford in the U.S. while car sales continue to plummet.

This trend actually bodes well for the company’s profitability as larger vehicles such as trucks and SUVs are inherently more profitable for the company.

According to Ford, the company’s profitability has been largely depending on sales of large vehicles such as trucks and crossovers as outlined in the 2019 Q4 financial report:

  • “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.”

Judging from the trend, Ford will continue to sell more trucks and SUVs in the near future considering that fuel prices are still relatively low.

Additionally, Ford should also benefit from the huge infrastructure spending outlined in the Biden administration.

When the construction industry expands, more trucks and SUVs will be required and this will undoubtedly drive Ford’s truck and SUVs sales to a whole new level.

Ford’s Vehicle Wholesale By Type in the U.S. – TTM

Ford vehicle wholesale by type in the U.S. - TTM

Ford vehicle wholesale by type in the U.S. – TTM

* TTM figures came from the author’s own calculation and consist of the sum of the quarterly data on a trailing 12-month or 4-quarter basis.

Similarly, the TTM plots above show Ford’s vehicle wholesale deliveries by vehicle type in the U.S.

From a TTM perspective, Ford’s sales of all vehicle types in the U.S. have been on a decline although the quarterly plots tell otherwise.

Ford’s car or sedan sales have been the worst between 2018 and 2020, with the 4th quarter of 2020 reporting only 160,000 vehicle sales, which was more than a 60% decline from the 2018 figure.

Ford’s truck sales drop may not be as severe as car sales but still declined to only 953,000 units as of 2020 Q4, the 1st time Ford reported a truck sales figure below 1 million units.

Ford’s SUV or crossover sales have shown signs of a recovery in 2020 when the reported delivery figure reached 713,000 units on a TTM basis.

All in all, Ford’s vehicle deliveries in the U.S. for all vehicle segments have been on a downward trend since 2018.

Ford’s Total Wholesale QoQ Growth Rates

Ford vehicle wholesale quarterly growth rates

Ford vehicle wholesale quarterly growth rates

* QoQ growth rates came from the author’s own calculation using Ford’s quarterly wholesale vehicle delivery data as reported in the company annual and quarterly financial reports.

The current chart shows Ford’s sequential or quarterly growth rates for the company’s 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 growth rates.

On average, Ford reported a QoQ growth rate of around 1% for all periods shown in the chart.

Ford’s quarterly growth rate topped 5% in 4Q 2020 compared to as much as 83% in the prior quarter.

In short, Ford has been growing consecutively in 2 quarters in terms of total wholesale deliveries by the 4th quarter of 2020.

Ford’s Total Wholesale YoY Growth Rates

Ford vehicle wholesale YoY growth rates

Ford vehicle wholesale YoY growth rates

* YoY growth rates came from the author’s own calculation using Ford’s quarterly wholesale vehicle delivery data as reported in the company annual and quarterly financial reports.

In terms of YoY or year-over-year growth rates, Ford’s results got even worse than its quarterly counterpart.

From the chart, Ford reported negative YoY growth rates in all quarters between 2017 and 2020.

Out of the 16 quarters, Ford reported only 1 quarter of positive YoY growth rate which fell on 4Q17.

Ford’s YoY growth rates have been in the negative high single-digit and some of the quarters even reported more than 50% YoY decline in vehicle wholesale.

On average, Ford reported a YoY growth rate of around -10% for all periods shown in the chart.

As of 2020 Q4, Ford’s YoY growth rate for total wholesale vehicle delivery plunged to -8.4%, one of the lowest ever reported by the company.

Conclusion

In summary, Ford’s total wholesale vehicle deliveries have trended lower between 2016 and 2020 and the company delivered only 1.24 million vehicles in 4Q 2020.

This compares to 1.35 million vehicles delivered a year ago, representing a year over year decline of 9%.

The North America region has been Ford’s largest automobile market over the 4-year period from 2016 to 2020, contributing roughly 700,000 vehicle deliveries per quarter to the company.

Ford has been increasingly selling more trucks and SUVs in the U.S. market between 2018 and 2020 since larger vehicles are more profitable.

Ford sold about 1 million trucks in the U.S. every year but that figure has dropped below 1 million in 2020 for the 1st time since 2018.

References and Credits

1. Vehicle wholesale data in all charts were obtained and referenced from Ford’s financial reports which are available at Ford’s SEC 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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