Ford Had a Difficult Time Selling Most of Its SUVs in 2020

If you’re looking for a great deal on a new SUV, stop by your local dealership and ask to see a 2020 model. There will probably be a pretty good selection of Ford SUVs. That’s because last year wreaked havoc on the auto industry during the nationwide shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ford had a hard time moving its vehicles, and by year’s end, dealerships saw a surplus of SUVs on lots across the country. 

As dealers make room for incoming 2021 models, there’s no better time to take advantage of discounted 2020 vehicles. Here’s everything you need to know about this unusual situation affecting the automotive industry. 

2020 Ford SUV sales suffered

There’s no denying 2020 hit auto manufacturers as they struggled to keep production lines moving amid the worldwide pandemic. Faced with decreased demand and sporadic shutdowns, most companies experienced a considerable decline in new vehicle sales. Ford was among the hardest hit during this unprecedented time.

According to iSeeCars, an average of 22.5 percent of 2020 inventory is still sitting on dealer lots. There are several brands, including Ford, seeing upward of 1.5 times that amount. Looking at more than 700,000 new vehicles for sale last year, iSeeCars analyzed which brands had the highest number of unsold units. Ford had five models in the top 10, with four of them SUVs.

Executive analyst Karl Brauer said, “These cars not only provide negotiation opportunities right now, but many of these vehicles can present even greater savings opportunities as more 2021 vehicles enter the pipeline.”

Escape hit hardest among Ford SUVs

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Topping the list is the Ford Escape. At the end of 2020, the compact crossover SUV experienced 90.4 percent excess inventory remaining. Demand was so low Ford practically couldn’t give it away. Production on the 2020 Escape began much later than other models, making it an inescapable victim of pandemic shutdowns. Combined with stiff competition from the newly released Ford Bronco Sport, the Escape didn’t stand much of a chance.

But the Ford EcoSport didn’t fare much better, with 71.3 percent of its 2020 inventory unsold at year’s end. The Expedition had an excess inventory of 61 percent, and the Expedition Max trim had 59.2 percent remaining.

The Ford Ranger, though not an SUV, saw an astounding 51.5 percent of inventory left on lots in 2020. Even the popular F-150 pickup truck experienced 40.4 percent of 2020 excess inventory, well above other brands’ 22.5 percent average.

Overall, Ford has a new car inventory that includes a whopping 48.9 percent of 2020 vehicles. It has the highest share of excess inventory in the industry.

But 2020 wasn’t a total disaster

Skyrocketing unemployment, mandated lockdowns, and closed production facilities attributed to a 34 percent decline in vehicle sales in the first half of 2020. AP News reported, “Automakers still haven’t been able to make up for production lost during their factory closures, and that has kept inventory tight and limited buyers’ choices to more expensive vehicles.”

Lower interest rates, the hope of a vaccine, and businesses reopening fueled an unexpected rebound in the second half of 2020. Consumers began to splurge on new vehicles, and automakers started seeing signs of recovery.

Ford recently announced its SUV lineup posted a “best-ever January start,” with “gains in trucks and SUVS more than offsetting our year-over-year car losses.” The automaker began 2021 strong, calling the Bronco Sport “America’s best-selling mid-size SUV.” The Blue Oval brand also noted the Explorer “posted its best retail sales start in 17 years.”

As the automotive industry resets from a tumultuous year, 2020 Ford SUV deals should be plentiful for the next few months.