Ford Sees a Sunny Side to Monthly Sales Reports
A chance to highlight new-model sales performance
Ford is ready to go back to reporting its U.S. sales on a monthly basis.
The company switched from monthly to quarterly reporting in April 2019, a year after General Motors and a month before Fiat Chrysler Automobiles followed suit. Most others have dropped monthly reporting too.
Ford’s new Bronco SUV (Image: Ford)
The Problem with Closeups
The companies have argued that 30-day snapshots can be skewed by special events, such as bad weather or new-model launches, thereby producing misleading and meaningless swings in volume that mask longer-term trends.
Carmakers used the same argument—albeit with more obvious justification—in the early 1990s when they stopped posting sales results every 10 days.
Now Ford tells Bloomberg News that a return to monthly reporting will help investors track the company’s recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company also figures that monthly sales updates will help draw attention to a bevy of new models, notably the all-electric Mustang Mach-E crossover vehicle and Bronco compact SUV.
So far, no other carmaker has indicated a hankering to go back to monthly U.S. sales reporting. Oddly enough, monthly posts remain the norm in other markets, such as Europe and China.
Last August, Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet Trucks marketing director, noted of the full-size SUV segment, “In the past five years, the average transaction price for the segment has climbed fueled by customer appetite for features like heated and cooled seats, adaptive cruise control and a head-up display.
According to Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet truck marketing director, “We engineer and build our trucks with customers’ expectations in mind.”
As Sunday will be the Super Bowl, there will undoubtedly be plenty of automotive commercials before, during and after the game, many of which focus on pickup trucks, because the ad agencies who work for the various OEMs have done deep demographic research that indicates that people who like football like trucks and vice versa. (We’ve always been a fan of the 1998 Nissan Frontier commercial that told us “Dogs like trucks.”) Anyway. . .there is one tough pickup truck that won’t be part of the festival of ads on Sunday because it is for a product that isn’t available in the U.S., the Volkswagen Amarok.