Sales trouble? Ford offers hefty F-150 pickup discounts – Detroit Free Press – Detroit Free Press
In a move that sometimes spells sales trouble, Ford has started offering discounts of up to $10,479 its most important vehicle, the F-150 pickup.
The discounts are featured this week on Ford’s website, and vary by region. The highest discounts were found in places like Washington, D.C., but even pickup havens like California was seeing discounts of more than $7,000. The discounts appeared to apply to only the larger, more deluxe versions that often carry higher price tags.
The discounting is unusual because the highly revised 2015 F-150 is relatively new in the market. The current version has an aluminum body to save weight, and thus fuel. Not only is the F-150 the nation’s best-selling vehicle, but it is also considered one of the most profitable, at least compared to cars.
But sales were down 8.9% last month and at 55,171 in sales, F Series only outsold perrennial No. 2 pickup Chevrolet Silverado by about 4,000 vehicles. Silverado gained 18.4% in sales for the month. Ford officials have blamed tight supplies for sales droop, but analysts aren’t so sure.
“The truck hasn’t sold up to expectations for the most part, and most of that attribution is said to be supply issues,” says Akshay Anand, analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “However, this may be a hint that in certain parts of the country, the issue might just be more than supply.”
The real development to watch is to see whether Ford moves out the incentives from being regional to nationwide. If that occurs, and whether the price cuts are extended to lower trim levels, could be even more telling, Anand says.
Ford is downplaying the discounts. It says the $7,050 price cut, for instance, isn’t a lump sum, but a number of discounts bundled together — from different kinds of cash-back deals to incentives on upscale options packages.
“Incentives and rebates are a normal part of our business,” says spokesman Mike Levine. “Some incentives encourage customers to purchase better equipped trucks while others reward our customers for their loyalty or financing through Ford Credit.”
Also, he says, Ford is spending less on incentives overall than a year ago. Plus, customers are paying an average of $44,100 per vehicle to add on more features and options, the highest ever for F-Series pickups.