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August was a rough month for some of Ford‘s well-known models, contrary to previous booming Ford SUV sales earlier in the year. The Ford Explorer, Ranger, and Mustang all saw significant sales decreases of over 40% compared to the same month last year. The Mustang is the only one of the three to see an increase in year-to-date (YTD) sales numbers. 

In August, Reuters reported that U.S. vehicle sales will see a slowdown due to interest rates, credit restrictions, and new vehicle pricing. However, supply chain issues and generational phase-outs are also creating sales challenges. 

Between normal internal vehicle model changes and external supply chain and economic forces, Ford could be in for a rough end to the 2023 calendar year. 

Ford sales data reveal the Explorer’s disappointing year

Ford Explorer sales are looking dismal in August 2023, with sales decreasing 55.06% compared to August 2022. This is a significant slump from 19,076 units to 8,572 Explorer units sold. The YTD sales are not as bad, with sales dropping 10.15% from 172,220 to 154,736. 

Supply chain issues have continued to plague the Ford Motor Company. The company has issued stop-builds because of a shortage of wire harnesses that has impacted the sale of multiple models, including the Explorer. Explorer orders were modified or canceled. 

The 360-degree camera on the Explorer also had issues, which Ford has not been able to fix. Customer frustration has also impacted sales. 

The 2023 Ford Explorer costs from $36,760 to $56,525 for base models up to the King Ranch 4WD. 

The Ford Ranger’s struggles

The sales struggles spread to the Ford Ranger compact pickup. In August 2023 sales were 2,069 units compared to 3,988 units in August 2022. That’s a 48.12% decrease. Overall this year, Ranger sales have decreased by 36.47% from 50,302 in 2022 to 31,956 YTD. 

Similar supply chain woes have hurt Ranger sales. Shortages have forced production delays, and Ford has sold some Rangers with limited features because they simply cannot get the parts. 

Another big sales issue for this truck is that they are phasing out their fourth gen. The 2024 Ranger is new for the fifth generation, which limits the production of 2023 models. There aren’t as many Rangers to sell, and this affects sales numbers. 

Ford Mustang sales are less than exciting


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Not even the Mustang was immune from Ford’s decreasing sales trend. Sales decreased from 3,533 units in August last year to 2,036 units in August 2023. The 42.37% decrease in August sales did not carry over to YTD sales figures. This year, Ford has experienced a 9.13% increase in YTD sales from 40,446 models to 44,139 models. 

The increase in YTD sales is not that impressive, but it is a positive number compared to much poorer sales comparisons for the Ranger and Explorer. 

A generational phaseout is affecting Mustang sales similarly to Ranger sales. The 2023 final sixth-gen Mustang was produced in limited numbers as people seek out the new seventh-gen. 

Ford’s all-electric Mustang Mach-E is seeing positive sales numbers despite problems you may have on road trips without package upgrades.

The sales struggles facing Ford are expected in lieu of the economy, supply chain issues, and generational phase-outs. However, August was a tough month for the automaker. Sales could be signaling trouble for Ford, or it could be an overall trend that will negatively impact the entire automobile industry in the future.

Overall though, Ford’s sales are in a healthy spot thanks to impressive numbers from models like the F-150, Bronco Sport, and  Transit.