Ford Authority

Ford Explorer Sales Increase 6 Percent In Q1 2020

Ford Explorer sales increased in the United States and South Korea but decreased in Mexico during the first quarter of 2020.

Ford Explorer Sales - Q1 2020 - United States

In the United States, Ford Explorer deliveries totaled 56,310 units in Q1 2020, an increase of about 6 percent compared to 53,306 units sold in Q1 2019.
MODEL Q1 2020 / Q1 2019 Q1 2020 Q1 2019
EXPLORER +5.64% 56,310 53,306

Ford Explorer Sales - Q1 2020 - Canada

In Canada, Ford Explorer deliveries totaled 3,733 units in Q1 2020.
MODEL Q1 2020 / Q1 2019 Q1 2020 Q1 2019
EXPLORER * 3,733 *

Ford Explorer Sales - Q1 2020 - Mexico

In Mexico, Ford Explorer deliveries totaled 78 units in Q1 2020, a decrease of about 80 percent compared to 391 units sold in Q1 2019.
MODEL Q1 2020 / Q1 2019 Q1 2020 Q1 2019
EXPLORER -80.05% 78 391

Ford Explorer Sales - Q1 2020 - South Korea

In South Korea, Ford Explorer deliveries totaled 1,520 units in Q1 2020, an increase of about 4 percent compared to 1,462 units sold in Q1 2019.
MODEL Q1 2020 / Q1 2019 Q1 2020 Q1 2019
EXPLORER +3.97% 1,520 1,462

Competitive Sales Comparison

Combined sales of the Ford Explorer and its police-duty variant, the Police Interceptor Utility, totaled 56,310 units during the quarter in the United States. The performance places the Explorer in first place in its segment by sales volume.

Following the Explorer are the Toyota Highlander, Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, Dodge Durango, Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, Subaru Ascent, Volkswagen Atlas (see VW Atlas sales), and the Mazda CX-9.

Sales Numbers - Mainstream Large Three-Row Crossovers - Q1 2020 - United States

MODEL Q1 20 / Q1 19 Q1 20 Q1 19 Q1 20 SHARE Q1 19 SHARE
FORD EXPLORER +5.64% 56,310 53,306 21% 21%
TOYOTA HIGHLANDER -8.99% 47,890 52,621 18% 21%
CHEVROLET TRAVERSE -12.06% 30,095 34,223 11% 13%
HONDA PILOT -27.49% 23,898 32,957 9% 13%
NISSAN PATHFINDER +4.25% 18,092 17,354 7% 7%
DODGE DURANGO +4.62% 17,805 17,019 7% 7%
KIA TELLURIDE +211.88% 16,826 5,395 6% 2%
HYUNDAI PALISADE * 16,333 * 6% 0%
SUBARU ASCENT -18.08% 15,624 19,073 6% 7%
VOLKSWAGEN ATLAS -3.58% 15,407 15,979 6% 6%
MAZDA CX-9 +12.48% 7,219 6,418 3% 3%
TOTAL +4.39% 265,499 254,345

The Explorer and Police Interceptor Utility held a combined 21 percent segment share, ahead of the 18 percent held by the second-place Toyota Highlander. The Chevrolet Traverse and Honda Pilot held 11 and 9 percent, respectively, while all other models held less than 8 percent share.

The three-row, large crossover segment expanded nearly 4 percent to 264,370 units in Q1 2020.

For informational and comparative purposes, we are also providing sales figures for midsize SUV models that overlap with large crossover SUVs like the Explorer – either in price, seating capacity, or both. Despite the fact that these models are physically smaller than the Explorer and its direct rivals, they are often cross-shopped. These overlapping vehicles include:

  • Midsize crossovers that offer three rows of seating, such as the GMC Acadia (see GMC Acadia sales), Kia Sorento, and Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Midsize crossovers with two rows of seating sold at a similar price point to the Explorer, including the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Murano, Ford Edge, Chevrolet Blazer, and Hyundai Santa Fe

Sales Numbers - Overlapping Crossover Sales - Q1 2020 - United States

MODEL Q1 20 / Q1 19 Q1 20 Q1 19
JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE -13.27% 50,083 57,749
FORD EDGE -4.27% 29,599 30,920
CHEVROLET BLAZER +632.51% 22,144 3,023
HYUNDAI SANTA FE -27.98% 20,658 28,683
KIA SORENTO -23.56% 18,055 23,619
GMC ACADIA -43.31% 17,686 31,200
NISSAN MURANO +33.71% 15,683 11,729
MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER -6.78% 12,809 13,740

The Ford Authority Take

Following a rather rocky launch of the all-new model, Ford Explorer sales finally started to increase during the first quarter of 2020. That is great news, especially given that roughly two weeks of sales were lost in March as a result of the developing COVID-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately, we expect sales of the new large crossover SUV to dip substantially in the near term over the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused Ford to idle all vehicle production in North America as it switches to making ventilators, respirators, face shields and masks to fight the virus.

Once coronavirus-related impacts begin to wind down and production resumes, Explorer sales should continue to pick back up. However, competition in the space is heating up as three competing models – Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, and Mazda CX-9 – showed very strong gains during Q1. Combined, the Kia and Hyundai accounted for nearly 35,000 units, which is over half of Explorer sales. The results are very impressive for the two new Korean models, given that both Hyundai and Kia were almost non-existent in this segment 24 months ago.

Other rivals that will add competitive pressure to the Explorer are GM’s Chevrolet Traverse, which will receive a fairly attractive refresh for the 2022 model year. Meanwhile, FCA is expected to launch an all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee in 2020. The popular Jeep vehicle will add a three-row variant for this go-round.

About The Numbers

  • All percent change figures compared to Ford Explorer sales for Q1 2019
  • In the United States, there were 76 selling days in Q1 2020 and 76 selling days in Q1 2019
  • For Explorer sales figures are comprised of the Ford Explorer and its police-duty variant, the Ford Police Interceptor Utility. In previous quarters, Police Interceptor Utility sales were reported as a separate line item, but Ford is now folding its sales into the Explorer line item.

Subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Explorer news and ongoing Ford news coverage.

Ford Motor Company Q1 2020 sales reports:

Frankie's first favorite car was a 1968 Ford Mustang, and he's had a strong appreciation for the nameplate ever since. Later in his youth he became infatuated with Eleanor, thanks to Nicholas Cage's stellar performance. Frank's a real jokester, too.

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  1. Roy Chiles

    That’s good news for FORD and Explorer after the mess that was made at rollout which also affected the sales of the Lincoln Aviator both are really sharp looking SUV hopefully the same will happen with its luxury model as well. I would still like to see this platform used for the next 4 door Lincoln Continental, Concept FORD 49 & maybe a Lincoln 2 door Continental or MARK 9, as well as the next Mustang


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