On Wednesday, Ford announced their October 2021 sales results, and the news was of a healthy, thriving carmaker. Though the total vehicle sales are lower than a year ago, Ford is the top-selling automaker for the second month in a row on the strength of faithful truck buyers and new products that are catching warranted attention. 

Ford’s press release indicates that retail vehicle sales are 3.8% below last October’s totals, culminating in just under 176,000 total sales in the US. It’s no surprise that passenger cars make up most of their lost sales, accounting for only 3,142 units sold for the month – a 72.5% decrease in car retail sales. 

Trucks remain the best-selling lineup for Ford with 94,449 total units sold for the month, though representing 8% fewer deliveries than Oct 2020. And SUV sales have shone brightly to start the fourth quarter, more than 14% higher than a year ago with over 78,000 delivered.

Ford has been improving inventory through the month with a slight reprieve in the chip shortage. Compared with September, Ford has increased stock by 7,000, totaling approximately 243,000 units. 

Andrew Frick, vice president, Ford Sales U.S. and Canada, said in the release, “Continuous improvement in inventories and new products made Ford the best-selling automaker in America for the second month in a row, which was last accomplished 23 years ago. Retail sales improved 16%, relative to September, with retail share up 1.6 percentage points. We also had our third consecutive month with over 30% of our retail sales coming from customer orders, while also adding 77,000 new orders in October. F-Series, strong SUV sales driven by Bronco, Bronco Sport, Mustang Mach-E and the first full month of Maverick sales really fueled our performance.”

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Factory order volume impressive

While not recorded as sold or delivered units yet, the Blue Oval carmaker has brought in 77,000 retail vehicle orders during the month of October. That’s truly remarkable, especially since it represents an increase of 25,000 units more than the orders collected in September. 

Factory orders have dwindled in recent years with consumers opting to take delivery of in-stock units immediately rather than wait for a build of their own choosing. The chip shortage has obviously affected Ford’s – and all other carmakers’ – ability to provide a large selection of landed inventory to choose from at dealerships. However, car shoppers considering Ford are happily committing to wait until their vehicle has been built. It’s certainly another area of strength for Ford. 

Of factory orders, Ford said in the press release, “Ford is filling these customer orders at record rates, with 32% of retail sales in October coming from a previously placed new vehicle order. This is Ford’s third straight month above 30 percent and compares favorably to just 6% last year.”

New models attract buyers

The new compact pickup truck in the lineup, the Ford Maverick, sold more than 4,100 units for the month. While the volume pales in comparison with the best-selling F-150 that’s on track for another leading sales year, the small hauler has captured attention from a sought-after demographic of 18-to-35-year-olds. The Maverick is also in the running for the North American Truck of the Year award from NACTOY. 

Of course, the full-size Bronco is delivering faster than production can handle, and the Bronco sport is spending less than 10 days on a dealer lot before delivery, on average. The Mustang Mach-E all-electric SUV has also been boosted by over 75% for the month of October. 

Ford’s electrified lineup has excited buyers in droves. Particularly, the F-150 Lightning pickup has already garnered 160,000 reservations before a single unit has been built, and the Mustang Mach-E is delivering an experience that has been selling itself. 

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