Ford Motor Co. has begun offering discounts that can exceed $10,000 on the new aluminum-body F-150 pickup to reverse a sales slump while it works to build inventory on dealer lots.
The company’s website offers “up to $10,029 in total savings” on a 2015 F-150 XLT SuperCab 4X4 with the luxury chrome or sport package in some U.S. regions. That model comes with a discount of $7,050 in other areas, according to Ford.com.
The F-150 is built at Ford’s Claycomo plant and at a plant in Michigan.
U.S. sales slid 8.9 percent last month for Ford’s F-Series pickups, its top-selling line and most profitable vehicles. The truck’s share of the big-pickup market fell to 28 percent in June from 33 percent a year earlier, according to researcher Autodata. Ford blamed tight inventory caused by the conversion of the two plants to build the trucks, the first mass-market vehicles to use lightweight aluminum so extensively.
“The truck hasn’t sold up to expectations for the most part,” said Akshay Anand, an analyst at auto researcher Kelley Blue Book. “This may be a hint that in certain parts of the country, the issue might just be more than supply.”
Improving inventory of the F-150 is letting Ford offer more competitive incentives as part of its Summer Sales Event promotion, said company sales analyst Erich Merkle. Overall incentive spending is down from a year ago, and the truck is selling for $44,100 on average, the highest transaction price in the segment, he said.
“What will be more telling is whether the incentives start to go out nationwide,” Kelley Blue Book’s Anand said. “If limited to higher-end trims and packages, this may not have a huge effect for the moment, as a truck still makes plenty of profit.”
Ford has said it had only half its normal inventory of the F-150 on dealer lots in June and won’t have a full supply until the end of September.