As we pass the midway point of 2021, Ford's decades-long sales dominance with its F-Series trucks is on shaky ground to say the least. Poring over monthly, quarterly, and year-to-date sales stats from Detroit automakers, we see the F-150 and its beefy Super Duty siblings are in trouble. That's because both Ram and the Chevrolet Silverado outsold the F-Series in the second quarter of 2021, spanning April, May, and June.
Let's jump right into the numbers, and bear with us as it's a bit complicated due to differences in reporting. In short, the Blue Oval had a disastrous June 2021 because of the global microchip shortage. We already covered this in a previous report, but we noticed F-Series sales dropped nearly 30 percent compared to June 2020. That prompted us to look at figures for Ram and Chevrolet, but both companies report quarterly versus Ford's monthly reporting, and Chevrolet reports light duty and heavy trucks separately.
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We had to do some additional research and a bit of math to get an apples-to-apples comparison, but with everything tabulated, Ford is in the extraordinary position of being third in truck sales for Q2 2021.
|Model||Q2 2021 Sales||Q2 2020 Sales||% Change||YTD 2021 Sales||YTD 2020 Sales||% Change|
|Ram Trucks||164,232||117,448||+ 39.8%||313,068||246,253||+ 27%|
|Silverado||161,706||120,744||+ 33.9%||286,410||264,442||+ 8.3|
|F-Series||158,235||180,825||- 12.5%||362,032||367,387||- 1.5%|
As the chart shows, Ford still leads all competitors in year-to-date truck sales but the margin is just 48,964 to second-place Ram. Compared to last year, Ford's lead was over 100,000 units at this point, which leads us to a curious question. Is the chip shortage really the only source of blame here?
Gallery: 2021 Ford F-150: First Drive
It's tempting to point towards criticism that the new F-150's styling is quite conservative, leading Ford buyers elsewhere. However, if that were the case Ford wouldn't have posted a nine-percent gain in the first quarter of 2021. Similarly, Ford showed a very healthy F-Series gain of 31.8 percent in April 2021. Things didn't take a tumble until May, when the chip shortage really made its presence felt at dealerships. We don't see any deeper conspiracy here. Ford just can't get trucks to the people who want them.
In an email to Motor1.com, a Ford spokesperson said the automaker's plan was for F-Series production to improve through the second half of the year while also delivering current trucks that are parked and waiting for semiconductor chips, which should happen by the end of October. Ford isn't talking about how many built trucks are waiting for chips, but reports and rumors suggest it's in the tens of thousands.
In the meantime, the Q2 sales figures suggest at least some Ford buyers urgently needing a new truck are heading elsewhere instead of waiting. We haven't heard much from Ram about production problems, and we know General Motors shipped trucks to dealerships without some features like cylinder deactivation, which will be remedied later once the necessary chips are available.
With the shortage expected to stretch into 2022, Ford might well lose its decades-old best-selling crown if it can't source the chips needed to get production rolling. The second half of the year could be quite a nail-biter for pickup truck fans.