Ford (F) reported a strong start to the year in the US, with sales jumping in January and even topping those of Toyota (TM), last year’s sales king. However, electric vehicle sales suffered a setback.
Ford reported January US sales climbed 4.3% to 152,617 vehicles, with the automaker’s US market share hitting 13.7%, up 0.3% from a year ago. Toyota reported that US sales rose 23.3%, but it sold only 143,241 vehicles in January. Toyota has been hit by chip shortages and inventory issues since 2023 and is still working to build up supply.
As for Ford, the company said results were driven by record sales of its Maverick compact pickup (12,443 units) and trucks and vans overall, which hit over 80,000 vehicles. Ford estimated it sold 15,000 more trucks and vans than its next biggest rival, General Motors (GM). (GM does not release monthly sales data, however.)
Ford’s hybrid sales once again charged higher, with overall hybrid sales up 42.7% compared to a year ago to 11,157 units.
The good news with hybrid sales, however, comes as EV sales suffered in January, with all-electric sales down 10.9% year over year to 4,674 units. The loss of federal EV tax credits for the Mustang Mach-E, colder weather, concerns over range, and higher interest rates likely hurt EV sales to start the year.
Ford has had to revamp its EV gameplan, pushing out investments in the space and cutting production for models like the Lightning EV pickup.
Ford CEO Jim Farley discussed concerns over the EV landscape earlier with Yahoo Finance in mid-January, suggesting that price was key to the demand equation.
“So our EV [sales] are growing, but the prices have to come down, and what that really is telling us is that it’s mainstream customers. They’re not willing to pay the same premiums as early adopters,” Farley said.
Farley was bullish on hybrid sales, however, stating Ford was No. 2 in hybrid sales in the US behind only Toyota, by offering truck options like the F-150 with gas, hybrid, or EV powertrains.
Investors will be looking for more color on what’s next for EVs and the company’s 2024 outlook when Ford reports results after the bell next Tuesday. Farley believes the upcoming year will be a big one for the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker.
“I’ve been leading the company for three years, and 2024 is the first year I can say we really have a chance to have a breakout year for a lot of reasons,” Farley said. “We’re past our labor issues and negotiation in the US, but most importantly, we’re launching like six new products, and we already have a fresh new lineup of Broncos and Mavericks.”