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Ford Explorer Sales Jump 87 Percent During Q3 2020

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Ford Explorer sales increased in the United States, Canada, South Korea, while decreasing in Mexico during the third quarter of 2020.

Ford Explorer Sales - Q3 2020 - United States

In the United States, Ford Explorer deliveries totaled 59,060 units in Q3 2020, an increase of about 87 percent compared to 31,546 units sold in Q3 2019.

In the first nine months of the year, Explorer sales increased about 33 percent to 160,209 units.
MODEL Q3 2020 / Q3 2019 Q3 2020 Q3 2019YTD 2020 / YTD 2019 YTD 2020 YTD 2019
EXPLORER +87.22% 59,060 31,546 +33.26% 160,209 120,226

Ford Explorer Sales - Q3 2020 - Canada

In Canada, Ford Explorer deliveries totaled 5,696 units in Q3 2020, an increase of about 162 percent compared to 2,173 units sold in Q3 2019.

In the first nine months of the year, Explorer sales increased about 78 percent to 12,392 units.
MODEL Q3 2020 / Q3 2019 Q3 2020 Q3 2019YTD 2020 / YTD 2019 YTD 2020 YTD 2019
EXPLORER +162.13% 5,696 2,173 +78.17% 12,392 6,955

Ford Explorer Sales - Q3 2020 - South Korea

In South Korea, Ford Explorer deliveries totaled 1,292 units in Q3 2020, an increase of about 150 percent compared to 516 units sold in Q3 2019.

In the first nine months of the year, Explorer sales increased about 20 percent to 4,429 units.
MODEL Q3 2020 / Q3 2019 Q3 2020 Q3 2019YTD 2020 / YTD 2019 YTD 2020 YTD 2019
EXPLORER +150.39% 1,292 516 +19.67% 4,429 3,701

Ford Explorer Sales - Q3 2020 - Mexico

In Mexico, Ford Explorer deliveries totaled 303 units in Q3 2020, a decrease of about 24 percent compared to 401 units sold in Q3 2019.

In the first nine months of the year, Explorer sales decreased about 55 percent to 566 units.
MODEL Q3 2020 / Q3 2019 Q3 2020 Q3 2019YTD 2020 / YTD 2019 YTD 2020 YTD 2019
EXPLORER -24.44% 303 401 -55.43% 566 1,270

Competitive Sales Comparison (U.S.)

Ford Explorer sales jumped an impressive 87 percent to 59,060 units during the third quarter in the United States. Despite the 87 percent increase in sales, the three-row crossover utility placed second in its segment by sales volume, behind the Toyota Highlander, which outsold the Explorer by only 555 units.

The Explorer outsold the rest of the segment contenders, including the Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, Volkswagen Atlas (see VW Atlas sales),Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Subaru Ascent, Dodge Durango, Nissan Pathfinder, and the Mazda CX-9.

Sales Numbers - Mainstream Large Three-Row Crossovers - Q3 2020 - United States

MODEL Q3 20 / Q3 19 Q3 20 Q3 19 Q3 20 SHARE Q3 19 SHARE
TOYOTA HIGHLANDER -13.58% 59,615 68,986 19% 24%
FORD EXPLORER +87.22% 59,060 31,546 19% 11%
HONDA PILOT -0.93% 35,187 35,517 11% 13%
CHEVROLET TRAVERSE -23.14% 31,603 41,116 10% 15%
VOLKSWAGEN ATLAS +10.06% 24,189 21,979 8% 8%
HYUNDAI PALISADE +84.55% 24,128 13,074 8% 5%
KIA TELLURIDE +32.89% 21,239 15,982 7% 6%
SUBARU ASCENT -7.50% 18,438 19,934 6% 7%
DODGE DURANGO +2.09% 15,957 15,631 5% 6%
NISSAN PATHFINDER -18.86% 10,572 13,030 3% 5%
MAZDA CX-9 +4.35% 6,961 6,671 2% 2%
TOTAL +8.28% 306,949 283,466

The Highlander and Explorer each held a 19 percent segment share, ahead of the 11 percent held by the third-place Honda Pilot and 10 percent held by the Chevy Traverse. All other models each accounted for 8 percent or less of the segment’s share.

The three-row, large crossover segment expanded more than 8 percent to 306,949 units in Q3 2020. In other words, the Explorer significantly outpaced the segment average along with most competitors. The Hyundai Palisade was the only model to post an increase similar to the Explorer, with 85 percent.


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 - Q3 2020 - United States

MODEL Q3 20 / Q3 19 Q3 20 Q3 19 YTD 20 / YTD 19 YTD 20 YTD 19
JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE -8.61% 56,447 61,768 -17.39% 152,856 185,040
CHEVROLET BLAZER +45.17% 29,486 20,312 +103.25% 71,356 35,107
HYUNDAI SANTA FE -6.11% 26,991 28,748 -26.89% 70,420 96,319
FORD EDGE -28.50% 26,211 36,660 -23.82% 76,862 100,894
KIA SORENTO -9.87% 22,696 25,182 -16.22% 60,492 72,200
GMC ACADIA -10.36% 18,231 20,338 -36.02% 51,159 79,958
NISSAN MURANO -38.94% 14,884 24,376 -10.90% 44,859 50,348
MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER +62.29% 7,923 4,882 -22.99% 23,467 30,471

The Ford Authority Take

Following a rocky launch of the all-new model for the 2020 model year, Ford Explorer sales have finally taken off, reporting a significant jump during Q3 2020, which was preceded by a 27 percent increase during Q2 2020. That is great news, especially given the substantial loss in sales opportunities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As such, Explorer sales increased significantly while the rest of the segment saw minor growth, allowing Ford’s product to outperform the segment by a substantial margin. Additionally, the Explorer was one of six models to post a positive sales result in Q3 2020 in light of the pandemic. We attribute the substantial jump in Ford Explorer sales during Q3 to significantly improved availability of the all-new model.

It’s worth noting that competition in the space is heating up as two competing models – the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride – showed strong gains during Q3. Combined, the Kia and Hyundai accounted for nearly 45,400 units, which is over half of Explorer sales. The results are very impressive for the two new entrants, 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 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 Q3 2019
  • In the United States, there were 77 selling days in Q3 2020 and 76 selling days in Q3 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 Q3 2020 sales reports:
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Comments

  1. Roy Chile’s

    There was a time Explorer was number 1 in sales Ford needs to get back to that time. Lincoln Aviator should be number 1 in its class, both are sharp looking SUVs Jim Hackett and Jim Farley pitiful roll out and like of Quality control hurt sales for both models

    Reply
    1. Me

      Besides 2019, when weren’t they #1 in the segment?

      Reply
  2. Gary

    The highlander hasn’t been completely problem free. Starting back in 2003 had engine failures. Then again from 2005 to 2013 engine failures across all engine lines due to an oil line that would burst. If caught early the engine could be saved at a repair cost of about 5 grand. But some how you never hear much about these problems like you would if it was a ford or chevy.

    Reply
  3. Gary .

    The highlander hasn’t been completely problem free. Starting back in 2003 had engine failures. Then again from 2005 to 2013 engine failures across all engine lines due to an oil line that would burst. If caught early the engine could be saved at a repair cost of about 5 grand. But some how you never hear much about these problems like you would if it was a ford or chevy.

    Reply
  4. Bob Dobson

    The QC on the 2021 Explorer has improved significantly, I had a 2017 and just received my 2021, no comparison in QC.

    The Toyota Highlander has the interior of any 1990’s truck in the same class. Toyota styling isn’t up to date, they got arrogant and charge way too much for an outdated product. The only issue with the 2021 Ford Explorer is it has NOT switched to SYNC4 yet and thats a big deal nowadays.

    Reply
  5. Mark L Bedel

    Gary, I think you make valid points about Toyota’s quality, the big difference is a legacy or more importantly, a perceived legacy of quality. For decades, Toyota’s quality was so much better than their competition, and that has stuck in consumer’s minds, and loyalists are willing to forgive perceived blips as long as the company takes care of the issue with as little inconvenience as possible. Time and technology, have helped close the gap for sure, but it has to go deeper…it has to become part of the culture. Hopefully Farley and Company will make the strides necessary to improve this.

    Reply

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