Over the previous few years, the brunt of the automotive trade regularly swapped to quarterly gross sales reporting. This contains Ford Motor Co., which claimed ditching the month-to-month mannequin helped easy out variances attributable to fleet orders. Most automakers gave comparable solutions, suggesting quarterly updates would truly paint a extra correct image of their general well being — possible hoping this could discourage buyers from being scared away throughout a very tough month.
However Ford has reportedly had a change of coronary heart and is shifting again to month-to-month updates. Whereas we’re completely happy to see it bucking the pattern, it’s curious to see any automaker doing so whereas the trade is so weak to anomalies created by authorities lockdowns.
Blue Oval stated it’s eager to present buyers extra info, particularly with the pandemic casting a darkish shadow over the trade. Ford’s new CEO, Jim Farley, has additionally mentioned the necessity for transparency on quite a few events since taking the large workplace.
“My dedication to every of you is transparency, together with purposeful, measurable key efficiency indicators so you’ll be able to objectively monitor our progress,” Farley instructed market analysts late final month.
Sadly, Ford’s U.S. gross sales fell 6.1 p.c in October vs the identical interval in 2019. However a few of that may be attributed to retooling amenities for the F-Sequence pickup, which stays the corporate’s best-selling mannequin. Truck gross sales had been extraordinarily wholesome for the model previous to October, particularly in comparison with sedans (which Ford has deliberately been shifting away from) and a noteworthy decline in van gross sales — the latter of which noticed a 24 p.c drop in October.
It’s not an awesome displaying for the corporate when the trade as an entire loved a slight 0.9-percent uptick in quantity from a 12 months earlier. However we now have extra context as to why Ford’s numbers may have been higher. Extra importantly for the corporate, so do buyers.
Whereas Honda, Hyundai/Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Toyota, and Volvo have been rocking month-to-month experiences by 2020, the remainder of the trade is working quarterly updates and none appeared inquisitive about altering after we requested. However these sorts of issues have a approach of catching on. Ford wasn’t the primary firm to swap to quarterly experiences in 2019. It was simply following Basic Motors because the trade jumped onto a brand new pattern. Perhaps going again to monthlies will change into the subsequent industrial craze after rivals notice everybody now likes Ford a little bit extra for having blazed the path again towards real transparency.
[Image: Image: Ford Motor Co.]