Ford's Electrified Vehicle Sales Were Up 184% in May, F150-Lightning Reservations Reach 70,000

Ford's Electrified Vehicle Sales Were Up 184% in May, F150-Lightning Reservations Reach 70,000

Author: Eric Walz   

Ford Motor Co released its May 2021 sales this week and the automaker appears to have bounced back since the pandemic of last year, while at the same time growing its electrified vehicle sales. Ford's electrified vehicle sales grew 184 percent during the month of May, achieving a new electrified vehicles sales record of 10,364 vehicles.

Ford's electrified sales, which includes both fully-electric and hybrid models, were boosted by the electric Mach-E SUV, the automaker's first electric vehicle. Ford reported sales of 1,945 Mach-E SUVs last month. YTD, Ford sold 10,510 electric Mach-Es.

The newest vehicle, the Bronco SUV, is also helping the company grow its sales. Sales of the Bronco Sport and electric Mustang Mach-E remain brisk and totaled 16,892 vehicles in May. Ford said that its dealers are selling them shortly after putting them out on the lot.

In total, Ford's SUVs were up 51.8 percent over a year ago partly due to the launch of the much hyped Bronco Sport and Mustang Mach-E. Other SUVs include the popular Escape, Explorer and Expedition models. Total SUV sales were 14,303 vehicles for the month. 

Ford's May retail share is up almost 4% in the compact SUV segment, with sales of both Bronco Sport and Escape expanding their sales within two very different customer groups. 

Escape sales were up 51.4 percent, while the majority of Bronco Sport customers are new to the Ford brand. Some of them have come from the Jeep brand, which the Bronco is designed to compete with as its marketed as a rugged adventure vehicle. 

With the pandemic restrictions lifting around the country and the arrival of warm weather, Bronco sales were the highest ever since the vehicle launched. Bronco Sport sales totaled 14,947 in May, which is 6.9% higher than April.

Ford said that California is the largest market for the Mach-E, which is not surprising since the state has the highest EV adoption rate in the U.S. Ford said that one out of every four Mach-E's sold were to cusotmers in California.

Ford's other electrified vehicles include the F-150 PowerBoost and the Escape Hybrid. The Escape electrified sales totaled 3,617, representing a 125% increase over last year during the pandemic. The automaker reported sales of 2,852 F-150 PowerBoost pickups in May.

Ford's newly unveiled F-150 Lightning is receiving strong interest from customers. Ford said reservations for the electric pickup have surpassed 70,000 so far. The F-150 Lightning arrives next year.

"Ford sales were up 4.1 percent on tight inventories, while year-to-date sales increased 11.3 percent. Ford and its dealers are working harder than ever to match the right mix of inventory to best meet the needs of our customers at the local level,"  said Andrew Frick, vice president, Ford Sales U.S. and Canada. "We have been receiving a massive number of reservations for our all-electric F-150 Lightning over the last two weeks –totaling over 70,000 trucks. Ford brand SUVs had their best May sales in 18 years, while Lincoln SUVs posted a new May record." 

Customers are also buying more expensive SUV and truck models. Ford reported that average transaction prices were up approximately $3,400 from a year ago. 

Ford sales figures for May also reflect the buying habits of consumers switching to SUVs, crossovers and trucks. The trend has continued for the past several years not just for Ford, but for the industry as a whole. In total, Ford's SUV sales were the highest since 2003, with SUV sales up 48.6% for the month.  

However Ford's total sedan sales are down 62.4% compared to May 2020. YTD sedan sales are down 52.6% compared to last year. The falling sedan sales reflect a downward trend throughout the auto industry.

Overall F-Series sales through May are up 4.7 percent on sales of 316,359 trucks, which is not surprising since the F-150 has been the best selling truck in the U.S. for over 40 years. Ford said that its F-Series trucks continue to sell at record rates. 

Retail orders for F-Series trucks are up threefold over last year and are expected to increase as more semiconductor chips become available, Ford said. 

Like many automakers, Ford was forced to suspend production of the F-150 due to the ongoing chip shortages that have been affecting auto production around the world since last fall.

Ford's luxury division Lincoln also posted strong sales numbers in May. Lincoln

SUV sales were up across the entire lineup in May with a total of 7,871 SUVs sold, an increase of 24.3%.

Leading the Lincoln brand sales is the Corsair, which has become the best selling vehicle in the Lincoln lineup. Sales of the small premium Corsair SUV were up 16.2 percent. While sales of the Lincoln Aviator expanded by 32.5% in May with 1,927 vehicles sold. Sales of the flagship Navigator SUV increased 65.6% in May, with monthly sales of 1,492.

Across the entire Ford brand, the automaker sold 836,851 vehicles so far in 2021, compared to 753,518 at this time last year. Overall Ford's vehicle sales are up 11.1% for the year.

Ford's strong May sales numbers have also boosted its stock price to the highest level in six years. On Friday Ford's stock closed at $15.97, representing an increase of 87.4% since the start of 2021. 

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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