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What Needs to Happen for Ford to Set a U.S. F-Series Sales Record In 2018?

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2018 Ford F150 assembly line -Image: Ford

Ford Motor Firm is at present on monitor to promote 939,809 F-Series pickup truck gross sales in the USA in calendar yr 2018.

That quantity is massively vital. Not solely does it characterize far larger quantity than some other vehicle line can handle (the F-Series was outselling the mixed efforts of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra by 15 % on the midway mark), it will additionally mark the primary event since 2005 by which any vehicle line topped the 900K mark.

The F-Series accounts for 36 % of U.S. Ford Motor Firm gross sales, outsells Ford/Lincoln automobiles by almost two to one, and outsells all Ford/Lincoln SUVs/crossovers by roughly 2,000 models per 30 days. Use Volkswagen, a international powerhouse, for additional comparability: the German model isn’t probably to promote four hundred,000 automobiles in America this yr. With one-third of the yr remaining, Ford has already bought 603,926 F-Series trucks.

However the monitor in the direction of 939,809 is necessary for one more reason. It’s additionally 298 gross sales higher than Ford’s all-time best quantity. What does Ford want to do through the remaining 4 months of the yr to break its document?

11th gen ford f150 - Image: FordTo place it merely, Ford wants to promote 335,586 F-Series pickup trucks in September, October, November, and December.

Straightforward?

Not so quick.

Ford recorded a blistering F-Series gross sales tempo within the ultimate third of 2017, but the corporate reported “solely” 320,430 truck gross sales throughout that interval final yr. That quantity wants to be exceeded by greater than 15,000 models if Ford is to prime 2004’s document. 2017 ended with a sixteen-yr November excessive after which a 12-yr December excessive, whereas F-Series gross sales topped eighty,000 models in each September and December. These have been months through which Ford’s streak of yr-over-yr enhancements – now at sixteen consecutive months – continued unabated.

For 2018 to be higher than 2004, 2018 should first finish higher than 2017. And 2018 should achieve this by a margin of three,789 gross sales per thirty days. If, in early October, Ford doesn’t report 86,000 September F-Series gross sales, and if Ford doesn’t report very almost eighty,000 October F-Series gross sales, breaking the annual report will abruptly appear uncertain.

There are, nevertheless, a minimum of a few causes Ford is probably going to push previous the 900,000-unit mark on its means to a document of roughly 940,000 F-Series gross sales in 2018.2018 Ford F-150 White Two Tone - Image: Ford

Construct It and They Will Pay
Ford isn’t promoting increasingly more (and increasingly) pickup trucks as a result of it’s competing solely for the discount shopper. In July, as the brand new vehicle transaction costs rose by roughly $seven hundred, F-Series ATPs grew one hundred fifteen-% faster than the business common. In accordance to Ford, ATPs for the F-Series in July have been $2,600 above the phase common.

Then in August, Ford reported that higher-tier trucks accounted for greater than half of retail Tremendous Obligation gross sales, pulling Tremendous Obligation ATPs up to $fifty eight,seven hundred.

Demand & Provide
Satisfying such a unprecedented degree of demand requires extraordinary provide. Ford exited August with a seventy two-day provide of trucks. That’s nicely under the eighty three-days of gross inventory Ford had at this stage of 2017, however in a market the place 60 days is often thought-about superb, Ford is nicely positioned. The automaker says precise supplier inventory heading into September stood at 210,134 models, equal to fifty six days of stock.

The Huge MO
Nothing within the automotive business, at any degree, is coveted greater than progress. From gross sales consultants to GSMs to zone managers to the automaker to analysts, there’s a endless expectation for enchancment.

That is about excess of constructive press. Vendor bosses need showroom employees to enhance closing ratios. Publicly traded supplier teams will struggle tooth and nail to keep away from the share price scars incurred by a yr-over-yr decline. An automaker’s quest for higher domination doesn’t subside when fuel costs rise, nor when rivals introduce newer product.

Hundreds of people have a vested curiosity in seeing the F-Series report a seventeenth, 18th, nineteenth, and twentieth consecutive month of yr-over-yr enchancment. If the extent of enchancment is adequate, Ford’s 939,511-unit result in 2004 falls from a legendary achievement to an simply forgotten second-best result.

If GM’s new trucks, not to point out a new breed of Ram pickups, handle to chip away on the dominant Ford, the Blue Oval could have to be glad with a 14-yr excessive.

[Images: Ford Motor Company]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Fact About Automobiles and Driving.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.internet. Comply with on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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