In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, during this critical time Autometrics will be closely monitoring the influence of the pandemic on shopper demand of new vehicles in the US. In addition to the Autometrics daily Bulletin, our new Brand Focus Weekend Bulletin, with sightly deeper analysis,  provides a high-level view of how new vehicle demand has been tracking for a focus brand and for a selection its nameplates, each weekend. More detailed data can be provided upon request.

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Brand Focus: Ford

Published June 14, 2020



 

 

In conjunction with our daily bulletin looking at how market demand has been responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent opening up of states, we begin this series of brand focused bulletins by looking at Ford. With a slightly deeper analysis than our daily bulletins, we provide a high-level view of how new vehicle demand has been tracking for Ford as a brand and for a selection its nameplates.

Using national and state data, we present some demand highlights of how Ford has performed during this volatile period, generally tracking data using 7 day and 30 day moving averages and comparing some of those metrics to the equivalent period of the prior year.

Brand Performance 

Ford’s long-term Shopper Share trend is shown below. The share has been falling for some time, although a 2 degree polynomial trend, shown on the chart, would suggest it has bottomed out and may even be rising again. The current 7 day comparison to the prior year shows a 7% increase in Shopper Share, in some way reflecting Ford’s particularly poor start to June 2019. 

Figure 1 – Brand Shopper Share

Looking at the 30 day moving average figures in comparison to other brands, Ford is currently tracking with about 2% lower Shopper Share than in 2019. Of the larger brands, Chevrolet, Nissan, GMC, Jeep and Dodge are all showing significant 30 day moving average growth compared to 2019.  

 Figure 2 – Shopper Share Growth/Decline From Prior Year, with comparisons

From the map below, it is evident that the 7 day Shopper Share growth numbers are well spread across the nation, and generally higher in the South and West.

 Figure 3 – Shopper Share Growth/Decline by State

Looking at a map of the 7 Day Shopper Count figures below, rather than share of the industry, Ford’s demand is tracking about 5% lower than the prior year, with some significant declines. We can see from the National Shopper Demand Index that this overall decline is less than the industry average, but that Ford’s state by state picture in many ways reflects the picture of the industry as a whole. 

 Figure 4 – Shoppers Growth/Decline by State
Figure 5 – Background – National Industry Shopper Demand
 Figure 6 – Background – Industry Shoppers Growth by State

Ford’s Demand Mix by Category, below, has been tracking with some similar characteristics to the long term industry trends (also below), with the significant growth in the national Pickup and SUV shoppers evident in the Ford figures.

Figure 7 – Vehicle Category Mix of Demand
Figure 8 – Background – Industry Category Mix of Demand

Model Performance

The chart below summaries the Q1 2020 figures for Sales and Demand for Ford by model. One can see that the dominant F Series is currently positioning below the reference line on the chart (the reference line shows Shopper Share equalling market share). This demonstrates that it has a higher Conversion Index of Shoppers than the industry average, which typically indicates competitive pricing and heightened brand loyalty compared to its competitors.

Figure 9 – Model Mix – Share of Demand and Sales

To give an overall picture of model demand, we have summarised the 30 day moving average growth/decline of Shopper Share demand for each model below. The Shopper Shares are calculated with respect to the segments each model competes in, and the growth metrics are comparing the current levels with the equivalent period of the prior year. The segmentation used for each model has been defined by Autometrics in this instance.

Figure 10 – Model Shopper Share of Segment Growth

Looking at Ford’s three largest nameplates, we can see how the demand numbers and volatility rose significantly with the pandemic taking hold in March, and subsequently appears to have fallen back to earlier levels.

Figure 11 – Indexed Shopper Demand for selected models

Taking a look at the Autometrics Growth Quadrant for Ford, which we focus on in our quarterly report series, Q1 2020 performance compared to Q4 2019 showed only one model, the Escape, to be an Improver. However, a number of models experienced market share growth through improved Shopper Conversion, with Fusion and Explorer showing 34% and 19% Shopper Conversion Growth respectively – a sign of competitive pricing to convert declining shopper numbers and achieve increased sales market share.

Figure 12 – Autometrics Growth Quadrant Summary

Selected Model Trends

F Series
Demand Cross Shopping for the F Series is shown below for competitors in the same segment as the F Series. It is a highly competitive segment, despite only having a handful of competitors, resulting in the F Series cross shopping being quite evenly spread amongst Sierra, Silverado, RAM and Titan.

Figure 13 – Cross Shopping Summary – F Series

The F Series Shopper Share of Segment is shown below alongside its two closest cross shopped competitors.

Figure 14 – Shopper Share of Segment for selected competitors – F Series

Explorer
Demand Cross Shopping for Explorer is shown below for competitors in the same segment as the Explorer.

Figure 15 – Cross Shopping Summary – Explorer

The Explorer Shopper Share of Segment is shown below alongside its two closest cross shopped competitors.

Figure 16 – Shopper Share of Segment for selected competitors – Explorer

Escape
Demand Cross Shopping for Escape is shown below for competitors in the same segment as the Escape.

Figure 17 – Cross Shopping Summary – Escape

The Escape Shopper Share of Segment is shown below alongside its two closest cross shopped competitors.

Figure 18 – Shopper Share of Segment for selected competitors – Escape

To find out more about Autometrics and what bespoke detailed analysis we can provide to help your business spot opportunities and threats specific to your requirements, please contact insights@autometrics.com.

Please stay safe.

Autometrics Insight Lab