In a year when new vehicle sales dropped to their lowest level in a decade, Ford Motor Co. managed to gain market share as its new fleet of electric vehicles gained traction.
Ford sales slipped by 2.2% in 2022 as it finished in third place behind General Motors and Toyota for sales. Although the company’s sales slid a bit, it gained just under a point of market share. In December, Ford sales increased by 3.2 percent.
The company’s EVs continued to gain momentum and Lincoln sales surged 17%, according to Ford’s year-end sales report. Year over year, new vehicle sales overall dropped by 8%, according to Cox Automotive.
“Much was accomplished in 2022, with Ford increasing its share of the industry by 0.7 percentage points,” said Andrew Frick, vice president, Sales Ford Blue. “Delivering on our strategy, share expansion came from broad- based growth from our SUV lineup and our all-new EVs growing at twice the rate of the overall EV segment.
“F-Series was America’s best-selling truck for the 46th consecutive year, outselling our second-place competitor by over 140,000 trucks, and the Bronco family of vehicles increased 51.3 percent. With a strong retail order bank, Ford is well positioned heading into 2023.”
Ford EV sales continue to grow
Ford’s full year sales of electric vehicles hit a new record at 61,575 vehicles, making Ford the second largest seller of electric vehicles in America behind Tesla — way behind. Tesla sold 1.31 million vehicles in 2022. Meanwhile Ford sales of EVs were up 126% for the year and up 223% for December.
The F-150 Lightning was the No. 1 electric truck in America in December and the best-selling electric truck in the U.S. since its launch in May with 15,617 electric trucks sold.
For the year, Ford sold 6,500 E-Transit vans, making it America’s best-selling electric van with 73% of the segment. December sales of E-Transit totaled 689 units. Mustang Mach-E sales climbed 103% in December on sales of 4,775 SUVs. For the year, Mustang Mach-E is up 45.4% on sales of 39,458 SUVs.
Stellantis, however, lost ground during 2022 as FCA U.S. LLC reported sales of 347,669 vehicles in the fourth quarter and 1,547,076 vehicles for 2022. Overall, total U.S. sales for the fourth quarter declined 16% while full-year results decreased 13 percent.
The decline included a 12% drop in sales of Jeep brand vehicles despite the introduction of new models such as new Grand Cherokee and Wagoneer.
Plug-in hybrids bright spot for Stellantis
One bright spot for Stellantis was an increase in the sales of plug-in hybrids, which grew 26% year over year and 21% in the fourth quarter versus last year.
“We saw strong demand for our PHEV offerings in the face of industry market conditions that carried across 2021 into 2022, including production constraints and a disruption of parts and materials in general, which adversely affected our overall sales,” said U.S. Head of Sales Jeff Kommor.
“Sales of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe increased 46% over last year, and the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe, introduced to the market late last year, accounted for 11% of the nameplate’s performance. As we look to 2023 and navigate the industry transformations that are occurring, we will continue to work closely with our customers to meet their demands and the needs of our dealer network,” he added.
The Jeep Wrangler 4xe, the first-ever electrified Jeep Wrangler, remains America’s best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle, with 43,176 (24%) of total Jeep Wrangler sales in 2022. Sales of the Wrangler 4xe increased 46% year over year, and 22% during the fourth quarter versus the same period last year.
Mazda North American Operations reported total December sales of 27,292 vehicles, an increase of 40.5% compared to December 2021. Full-year sales totaled 294,908 vehicles; a decrease of 11.4% compared to 2021, the company said.
Mitsubishi’s U.S. sales dropped by 16% for the fourth quarter and the full-year due to supply chain issues.
Nissan saw an uptick in sales in the fourth quarter as Nissan brand sales dropped 3.6% and Infiniti Sales increased by 24%. For the year, however, Nissan sales dropped 25.6% and Infiniti sales declined 20.4% for the full year.
“This December, there were fewer giant red bows than dealers would have liked,” said Charles Chesbrough, senior economist at Cox Automotive. “Given the large improvement in supply levels, it seems likely that rising interest rates are now constraining demand in the retail auto market. With record-high prices and elevated loan rates, the pool of potential new-vehicle buyers is shrinking.”