Ford 1Q Sales Decline 12.5% in Face of COVID-19 Pandemic, Lincoln Up 6.9%; Ford Fund Announces Donation Match Program

Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn today announced that it sold 516,330 vehicles amid the nation’s COVID-19 outbreak in the first-quarter 2020, a 12.5 percent decline compared to year-ago figures.
Ford Explorer ST
Ford SUV sales declined 11 percent to 189,720. Pictured is the Ford Explorer ST. // Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn today announced that it sold 516,330 vehicles amid the nation’s COVID-19 outbreak in the first-quarter 2020, a 12.5 percent decline compared to year-ago figures.

Truck sales reached 263,757 units, down 5.4 percent; SUV sales were 189,720 units for a decline of 11 percent; and car sales were 62,853, which fell 36 percent.

Lincoln retail sales are a bright spot for Ford in the first three months of 2020 showing an increase of 6.9 percent. Led by Aviator, Lincoln SUVs expanded 12.2 percent at retail on new product introductions. Overall Lincoln SUV sales totaled 20,516 vehicles, representing an increase of 6.1 percent.

Lincoln Corsair sales grew during inventory transitions from MKC — Corsair completed its transition from MKC at the end of the first quarter. Combined Corsair and MKC retail sales are up 3.8 percent, compared to MKC volumes a year ago.

Ford’s performance lineup of vehicles also saw strong gains. Mustang began the year with sales of 18,069 vehicles, representing a 6.8 percent gain, while GT350/Shelby GT500 sales doubled.

With sales of 186,562 pickups, F-Series started the year as America’s best-selling vehicle; while sales are down 13.1 percent, the decline is explained by the timing of the company’s fleet sales and weaker retail sales in March due to COVID-19.

Ford overall van sales totaled 54,499, up 5.7 percent. Transit sales increased 15.7 percent on sales of 36,836 for the quarter, its best sales start since its launch in 2014.

Explorer begins the year with sales of 56,310 vehicles. First-quarter retail sales of the all-new Ford Explorer increased 10.5 percent, while ST Explorer retail sales gain 32 percent over a year ago.

“At Ford we feel a deep obligation to step up and contribute in these unprecedented times,” says Mark LaNeve, vice president of U.S. marketing, sales, and service at Ford. “Our dealers and employees have jumped into action to support healthcare workers, their communities, and millions of our customers.

“Our Ford team is working around the clock on everything from building healthcare equipment, assisting our dealership network and providing our customers peace of mind through deferred vehicle payments. I have never been more proud of our team.”

Ford says its overall inventory levels remain in good shape during a period of production downtime and lower industry sales; overall days’ supply at Ford stands at 100 days at the end of March.

In other Ford-related COVID-19 news, the Ford Motor Co. Fund has announced a COVID-19 Donation Match program and a Read and Record virtual volunteers program to allow Ford employees around the world to give back while staying at home.

“During trying times, Ford employees are used to being the boots on the ground – getting out, signing up, and pitching in to help make a difference,” says Mary Culler, president of Ford Fund. “Even now, while many are sheltering in place at home, our employees are looking for ways to help. These two new programs offer meaningful ways for employees to give back and join in the fight against COVID-19.”

The COVID-19 Donation Match program is a combined effort between Ford Fund and Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Co., that will match $500,000 in donations to designated community organizations in the fight against the virus, raising a potential $1 million.

Those interested can make a donation to support nonprofits and other community organizations in more than 20 countries. The program is managed by GlobalGiving, Ford’s longtime disaster relief and global grant-making partner. It aims to support community projects in locations that have a significant level of need and a substantial Ford employee presence. Projects focus on addressing hunger, shelter, and mobility needs; providing educational resources; and delivering medical supplies and services to communities.

The matching funds will come from the Ford Fund and Bill Ford, who started the Ford Volunteer Corps 15 years ago. Those interested in donating can click here to view a list of participating locations and learn more about projects they can support. GlobalGiving will add more projects and details over the coming weeks.

Ford’s Read and Record virtual volunteering project invites Ford employees from around the world to record and submit videos of themselves reading children’s book in their own languages. The online library will be catalogued by language, and multilingual employees are encouraged to read in languages other than English. Ford Fund plans to share the library with philanthropic groups that serve children and families. More than 1.3 billion children are affected by school closings around the world. More information is available here.

Ford Fund is also compiling COVID-19 related volunteer opportunities and other resources here. Activities include virtual tours, downloadable worksheets, online tutorials, videos, and more.

The fund previously announced it is allocating more than $1.6 million in resources to help communities and local nonprofits throughout southeast Michigan and across the U.S. address hunger, shelter, and mobility needs related to the virus. Earlier this year, the Ford Fund also worked with Ford of China to provide face masks and other protective gear during the initial outbreak.

The Ford Fund works with dealers and nonprofit partners in more than 50 countries. It has invested more than $2 billion in programs since 1949.

GlobalGiving has helped raise more than $450 million from more than 1 million donors and has worked with more than 350 corporate partners since 2002.

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