HomeBusinessFord sales are up 6.8%, driven by hybrids and electric vehicles

Ford sales are up 6.8%, driven by hybrids and electric vehicles

Like other legacy automakers this week, Ford ( F ) is the latest to report strong first-quarter sales.

Ford said U.S. sales rose 6.8% to 508,083 vehicles in the first quarter, driven by strong sales of electrified products such as hybrids and electric vehicles. Ford’s Maverick hybrid pickup had its best quarter ever, with sales up 77% in the first quarter. Maverick also saw total hybrid sales jump 42% to 38,421, with Ford claiming this was also the best quarter for hybrids and that momentum will continue.

Ford’s EV offerings – the Mustang Mach-E, Ford Lightning EV and its commercial E-Transit vans – bucked the recent trend of declining demand. Ford’s overall EV portfolio saw a massive jump of 82% to 20,223 EVs sold in the first quarter, with the Mustang Mach-E up 77.3% to 9,589 units sold and Lightning pickup sales up 80 .4% increased to 7,743 units. While sales here are strong, Ford has relied on heavy discounts, cheap financing rates and leasing deals to move inventory.

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An electric vehicle from the Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally is at the New York International Auto Show in New York on Saturday, March 30, 2024. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

An electric Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally car at the New York International Auto Show in New York on Saturday, March 30, 2024. (Ted Shaffrey/AP Photo) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

One downside for Ford, however, was sales of the flagship F-150. Although the F-Series (which includes the F-150 and the heavy-duty F-250 and F-350) retained the crown as America’s best-selling truck, sales fell 10.2% to 152,943 units in the quarter. Ford has seen a slow ramp-up of the all-new F-150, which started going on sale in March.

Still, investors are cheering Ford’s sales results today, with the stock up nearly 2% in afternoon trading.

“The new F-150 will play a major role for us in the gas, hybrid and electric vehicle segments of our business,” said Andrew Frick, president of Ford Blue, the division that manages Ford’s traditional gas and hybrid offerings. “With sales of the new F-150 and all-new Ranger beginning in March, along with the strong performance of our all-new Lincoln Nautilus and Nautilus Hybrid, we are in a strong position to capitalize and grow as we continue to 2024.”

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SUVs still did quite well, with the Bronco Sport (up 5.7%), Escape (up 70.3%), Edge (up 73.3%) and Expedition (up 11 .4%) were among the winners. Vehicles that underperformed this quarter include Ford’s only “traditional” offering, the Mustang (6.8%) and the automaker’s popular full-size Bronco, whose sales fell 25.8% to 24,000 in the quarter copies sold.

Ford’s overall strong performance in the first quarter follows reports of traditional automakers such as GM, Honda, Toyota and Hyundai deploying hybrid and gas-powered vehicles to offset any weakness in electric vehicles, although Korean automakers such as Hyundai and Kia, like Ford , are also seeing gains in their EV business.

Ford will report full first-quarter financial results after the bell on Wednesday, April 24. In late March, Ford CFO John Lawler reiterated 2024 guidance Ford provided in early February, forecasting adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of $10 billion to $12 billion. , adjusted free cash flow of $6 billion to $7 billion, and capital expenditures of $8 billion to $9.5 billion. Also notable is that the first quarter will be the first quarter in which Ford’s new bargaining agreement with the United Auto Workers union takes effect.

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Pras Subramanian is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. You can follow him Tweet and further Instagram.

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