Ford Escape Sales Drop 21 Percent During Q1 2020

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Ford Escape sales decreased in the United States, Canada, and Mexico during Q1 2020.

Ford Escape Sales - Q1 2020 - United States

In the United States, Ford Escape deliveries totaled 48,117 units in Q1 2020, a decrease of about 21 percent compared to 60,702 units sold in Q1 2019.
MODEL Q1 2020 / Q1 2019 Q1 2020 Q1 2019
ESCAPE -20.73% 48,117 60,702

Ford Escape Sales - Q1 2020 - Canada

In Canada, Ford Escape deliveries totaled 5,351 units in Q1 2020.
MODEL Q1 2020 / Q1 2019 Q1 2020 Q1 2019
ESCAPE * 5,351 *

Ford Escape Sales - Q1 2020 - Mexico

In Mexico, Ford Escape deliveries totaled 608 units in Q1 2020, a decrease of about 39 percent compared to 991 units sold in Q1 2019.
MODEL Q1 2020 / Q1 2019 Q1 2020 Q1 2019
ESCAPE -38.65% 608 991

Competitive Sales Comparison

Ford Escape sales performance during Q1 2020 makes it the fifth-best-selling model in its segment. The model was outsold by the Toyota RAV4, Chevrolet Equinox (see Chevy Equinox sales), Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue (comprised of two models – the regular Rogue and Rogue Sport). The Escape outsold the Subaru Forester, Mazda CX-5 (see Mazda CX-5 sales), Jeep Cherokee, GMC Terrain (see GMC Terrain sales), Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Tiguan (see VW Tiguan sales), Subaru Crosstrek, Kia Sportage, as well as the Dodge Journey, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.

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Sales Numbers - Mainstream Compact Crossovers - Q1 2020 - United States

MODEL Q1 20 / Q1 19 Q1 20 Q1 19 Q1 20 SHARE Q1 19 SHARE
TOYOTA RAV4 +16.48% 97,631 83,820 16% 12%
CHEVROLET EQUINOX -17.00% 73,453 88,500 12% 12%
HONDA CR-V -18.44% 71,186 87,280 12% 12%
NISSAN ROGUE -36.35% 59,716 93,814 10% 13%
FORD ESCAPE -20.73% 48,117 60,702 8% 8%
SUBARU FORESTER -3.88% 39,080 40,656 6% 6%
MAZDA CX-5 -6.09% 35,211 37,494 6% 5%
JEEP CHEROKEE -31.86% 33,675 49,420 6% 7%
GMC TERRAIN -0.28% 25,292 25,364 4% 4%
HYUNDAI TUCSON -17.68% 23,735 28,831 4% 4%
VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN -16.93% 22,177 26,697 4% 4%
SUBARU CROSSTREK -17.87% 21,516 26,197 4% 4%
KIA SPORTAGE +4.47% 20,057 19,198 3% 3%
DODGE JOURNEY -36.87% 15,152 24,003 3% 3%
MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER -6.78% 12,809 13,740 2% 2%
MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS -42.38% 5,184 8,997 1% 1%
TOTAL -15.49% 603,991 714,713

Ford Escape sales fell at a slightly faster pace than the segment average during the quarter, though other models posted higher declines. For instance, the Nissan Rogue posted a 36 percent decline, Jeep Cherokee saw sales dip 32 percent, Dodge Journey sales fell 37 percent and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross deliveries slipped 42 percent. However, the Escape’s top rival – the RAV4 – posted very healthy growth rate of 17 percent. In fact, it was one of only two models in the segment (the other being the Kia Sportage) to grow sales volume during the quarter.

The first quarter 2020 sales performance gives the Escape a segment share of 8 percent, lower than the 16 percent commanded by the RAV4, 12 percent commanded by the Chevy Equinox and Honda CR-V, individually, and 10 percent taken up by the Nissan Rogue.

The compact mainstream crossover segment contracted nearly 15.5 percent to 603,991 units in Q1 2020.

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The Ford Authority Take

The decline in Ford Escape sales during Q1 2020 is not great news, as Ford’s compact CUV continues to see sales slip. In fact, the decrease during the first quarter is at least the sixth consecutive quarterly decline in sales volume for the Escape nameplate, with the v seeing drops in volume for Q4 2019, Q3 2019, Q2 2019, Q1 2019, and Q4 2018.

We posit that Escape sales suffered in Q1 as a result of the following events:

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  1. A reduced number of dealership foot traffic caused by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic which has driven down sales for the entire auto industry
  2. Pausing production at the Ford Louisville Assembly Plant, which produces the Escape, as well as all other FoMoCo facilities in North America and beyond
  3. Intensity of competition in the mainstream compact crossover space
  4. More lucrative incentives from rivals

COVID-19 impact notwithstanding, the fact that Escape sales continue to decline is worrisome, since the nameplate is all-new for the 2020 model year. FoMoCo completed the generational changeover from the previous model during the last quarter of 2019, so availability- and inventory- related issues should not have played a role in first quarter 2020 sales performance.

Going forward, we expect sales of all automobiles, including those of the Escape, to see steep declines as long as plants remain idled and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc around the world. Things should start to pick back up once things return to normal levels.

About The Numbers

  • All percent change figures compared to Ford Escape sales for Q1 2019, except if noted
  • There were 76 selling days in Q1 2020 and 76 selling days in Q1 2019
Ford Motor Company Q1 2020 sales reports:

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Written by Alex Luft

Ford Authority founder with a passion for global automotive business strategy.

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7 Comments

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  1. I’m not surprised. I’m a lifelong Ford owner and former Escape owner, but this redesign is hideous. From the droopy nose to the horrible dimples on the inside door panel to the raised-triangles on the cloth seats. But the rear and rear 3/4 views are very good, I’ll give them that.

    • I think the new 2020 Escape model is spot on. It should attract all the female buyers who make up the majority of this segment. The new Bronco Sport should get the male buyers once it launches. All that’s left is for the Edge to become more competitive. A complete restyle with a new shape and more aggressive proportions is needed like… yesterday… see Blazer and Grand Cherokee.

    • Exactly Jim!
      The front looks like some whimpering little puppy who just chewed up a good shoe, and is now cowering in a corner. the rest of the exterior isn’t bad, just not bold enough. You do not design a mainstream veicle to just appeal to women. Right away you lose most men, and probably a good percentage of women. I see many women driving 4-runners, F-150s and Wranglers.

      The interior looks better than before, but slightly bland.

      Another issue may be the standard 3-cylinder engine. Even if it is better than many 4-cylinder base engines, the perception of 3-cylinder engines is still weakness.

      • It’s not that the 2020 Escape is designed to attract to women, but that the segment is female customer dominant, so Kenny does have a point there. To that end, there isn’t really a single offering in this segment that appeals to both genders equally, though the CX-5, RAV-4 and Terrain could be the exceptions. Either way, those who don’t find the Escape to their liking will get their fix with the Bronco Sport.

        That’s the beauty of a two-vehicle strategy – they can target different subsets of the buyer/demo base with each model, rather than trying to do it with two.

  2. It looks much, much better in person. However the price structure is really off putting. It goes from sub 30k to around 40 real quick when a comparable cx5 is better in every way is low 30’s. They need to lower the price or step up their game. It’s not a bad vehicle, it’s just not a good value. And when it comes to compacts, value is really important.

  3. I can’t say I understand the comments pointing out the front end as “droopy”, given that it’s higher and more upright than any other model. But, such things usually happen with people pretending to be design sophisticates, so they’ll turn around like they always do. Besides, the Bronco is definitely going to make sales surge. It brings back the original first gen Escape boxiness that I personally prefer in smaller SUV’s. Luckily, we’ve been selling plenty of the 2020 Escapes here in Iowa.

  4. I am not surprised the Escape sales have tanked and will only get worse. Ford had all the time in the world to design and build a class-leading small SUV (considering that they are now the slowest to bring new products to the market) and what they did was give us this exceptionally average looking vehicle.
    If it looked like a miniature version of the Explorer then you’d be onto a winner. That would sell well in the America’s as well as Asia-Pacific and Europe.
    As for pricing, well here in Australia, they are indicating that the base version will be more expensive than a New Hybrid RAV4 so who is going to buy it then?

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