Ford Authority

Ford Escape Sales Post 10th Consecutive Quarterly Decline During Q1 2021

Ford Escape sales decreased in the United States, Canada, and Mexico while increasing in Argentina during Q1 2021.

  • Note that the Escape is sold as the Kuga in various international markets.

Ford Escape Sales - Q1 2021 - United States

In the United States, Ford Escape deliveries totaled 40,990 units in Q1 2021, a decrease of about 15 percent compared to 48,117 units sold in Q1 2020.
MODEL Q1 2021 / Q1 2020 Q1 2021 Q1 2020
ESCAPE -14.81% 40,990 48,117

Ford Escape Sales - Q1 2021 - Canada

In Canada, Ford Escape deliveries totaled 3,547 units in Q1 2021, a decrease of about 34 percent compared to 5,351 units sold in Q1 2020.
MODEL Q1 2021 / Q1 2020 Q1 2021 Q1 2020
ESCAPE -33.71% 3,547 5,351

Ford Escape Sales - Q1 2021 - Mexico

In Mexico, Ford Escape deliveries totaled 197 units in Q1 2021, a decrease of about 68 percent compared to 608 units sold in Q1 2020.
MODEL Q1 2021 / Q1 2020 Q1 2021 Q1 2020
ESCAPE -67.60% 197 608

Ford Kuga Sales - Q1 2021 - Argentina

In Argentina, Ford Kuga deliveries totaled 101 units in Q1 2021, an increase of about 206 percent compared to 33 units sold in Q1 2020.
MODEL Q1 2021 / Q1 2020 Q1 2021 Q1 2020
KUGA +206.06% 101 33

Competitive Sales Comparison (USA)

The decrease in Ford Escape sales during Q1 2021 moved the compact crossover down one spot to sixth place in its segment by cumulative sales volume in the United States. The model was outsold by the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue (comprised of two models – the regular Rogue and Rogue Sport), Chevrolet Equinox (see running Chevy Equinox sales), and the Subaru Forester. The Escape outsold the Mazda CX-5 (see running Mazda CX-5 sales), Jeep Cherokee, Subaru Crosstrek, Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Tiguan (see running VW Tiguan sales), Kia Sportage, GMC Terrain (see running GMC Terrain sales), as well as the Dodge Journey, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.

Sales Numbers - Mainstream Compact Crossovers - Q1 2021 - United States

MODEL Q1 21 / Q1 20 Q1 21 Q1 20 Q1 21 SHARE Q1 20 SHARE
TOYOTA RAV4 +17.03% 114,255 97,631 17% 16%
HONDA CR-V +31.72% 93,766 71,186 14% 12%
NISSAN ROGUE +45.22% 86,720 59,716 13% 10%
CHEVROLET EQUINOX -13.93% 63,218 73,453 9% 12%
SUBARU FORESTER +22.04% 47,694 39,080 7% 6%
FORD ESCAPE -14.81% 40,990 48,117 6% 8%
MAZDA CX-5 +15.73% 40,750 35,211 6% 6%
JEEP CHEROKEE +12.61% 37,923 33,675 6% 6%
SUBARU CROSSTREK +63.54% 35,187 21,516 5% 4%
HYUNDAI TUCSON +39.65% 33,147 23,735 5% 4%
VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN +22.94% 27,265 22,177 4% 4%
KIA SPORTAGE +11.77% 22,417 20,057 3% 3%
GMC TERRAIN -33.11% 16,917 25,292 3% 4%
DODGE JOURNEY -54.59% 6,880 15,152 1% 3%
MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER -67.94% 4,106 12,809 1% 2%
MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS -69.46% 1,583 5,184 0% 1%
TOTAL +11.40% 672,818 603,991

The Ford Escape was not alone in experiencing a drop in sales, as four other models posted even higher declines. For instance, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross deliveries slipped 69 percent, the Mitsubishi Outlander experienced a decline of 68 percent, the Dodge Journey saw a 55 percent decline, and the GMC Terrain fell 33 percent.

The Escape’s top rival – the Toyota RAV4 – posted an increase of 17 percent during the quarter, outperforming the Ford offering. Notably, 10 other models also saw sales grow this quarter, including the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Mazda CX-5, Jeep Cherokee, Subaru Crosstrek, Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Tiguan, and the Kia Sportage. At 64 percent, the Crosstrek posted the highest increase in sales volume in the segment.

The Q1 2021 sales performance gives the Escape a segment share of six percent, significantly lower than the 17 percent commanded by the RAV4, 14 percent for the Honda CR-V and 13 percent owned by the Nissan Rogue.

The compact mainstream crossover segment expanded 11.4 percent to 672,818 units in Q1 2021, meaning Ford Escape sales significantly underperformed the segment average during the quarter.

The Ford Authority Take

The decline in Ford Escape sales during Q1 2021 is rather disheartening given that the Escape is one of the newest products in its segment. The dip in sales during the first quarter isn’t unexpected considering the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the Escape’s Q1 2021 sales performance represents the tenth consecutive quarterly decline for Escape sales, with the model seeing drops in volume for Q4 2020, Q3 2020, Q2 2020, Q1 2020, Q4 2019, Q3 2019, Q2 2019, Q1 2019, and Q4 2018.

Not all the news is bad when it comes to Escape sales. For instance, the model saw the second-lowest drop in sales volume compared to its rivals as well as the segment average. Additionally, retail sales of the Escape increased nearly 50 percent this quarter.

We posit that Escape sales suffered in Q1 2021 as a result of the following events:

  1. Reduced demand as a result of COVID-19 factors
  2. Reduced supply as a result of a pause in production at all FoMoCo facilities in North America and beyond, including the Ford Louisville Assembly Plant that produces the Escape for North America. The initial pause was created by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the more recent one was the result of the ongoing microchip shortage.
  3. Increased intensity in competition in the mainstream compact crossover space.

COVID-19 impact notwithstanding, the fact that Escape sales continue to decline is worrisome, since the model was completely overhauled (redesigned and re-engineered) for the 2020 model year. Typically, sales increase when an all-new model is introduced and has completed its launch. In FoMoCo’s case, the automaker completed the generational changeover from the last-gen Escape during the final quarter of 2019, so availability- and inventory- related issues strictly associated with the launch of an all-new model did not play a role in Q1 2021 sales performance.

About The Numbers

  • All percent change figures compared to Ford Escape sales for Q1 2020, unless noted otherwise
  • There were 74 selling days in Q1 2021 and 76 selling days in Q1 2020
Ford Motor Company Q1 2021 sales reports:

Escape News

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. Justin L.

    Just like the latest Explorer they tried to make it as ugly and generic as possible. Both need a serious restyle. The Escape also has zero identity now, or any cool factor.

    1. Me

      This is the sharpest looking Explorer since the 2002-05 generation.

      1. John

        Agree. On the other hand, while I don’t find the Escape bad-looking (I appreciate that it actually looks happy), it’s too boring in my opinion. It needs a bit more visual flair.

  2. Alexander

    Ford needs an emergency redesign. I remember when this held 3rd or 4th spot in the segment, trading spots back and forth with the Nissan Rouge and just behind CRV and RAV4.

  3. Joe

    Cheap looking interiors, harsh 3 cylinder engine, less cargo room than the last model, what do you expect Ford? I looked and drove one and the 2020 Edge also which was much better, for not much more money. Bought the Edge, which I hear will be discontinued in a few years.

    1. Me

      You can get a 2.0 in SEL trim.

  4. Chris

    That ugly front end is the problem! Redesign it ASAP. Good point earlier: Escape used to be cool looking. Not anymore. I’ll keep my 18 SEL.

  5. Njia

    My wife seems to be the new Escape’s only fan (but she’d buy an Escape even if the only color available was Metallic Vomit). I find it wholly unappealing – bland styling, cheap interior, middling performance,… It’s a C-student in a class of overachievers. Ford should have known better.

  6. Jeff

    A huge problem that Ford refuses to address is that since the redesign Ford has had horrible lease programs on the Escape. I’ve lost numerous Escape customers because Ford has priced out our own customers out of the Escape and similar vehicle market. Considering it hasn’t changed since and seems to be getting worse perhaps Ford sees no value in the Escape anymore.

  7. Chris

    Yup. I forgot about that cheesy 3 cylinder in the lower trim Escapes.] What a turn-off. Not a fun car to drive anymore. Too bad.

  8. Mondeo

    The new Escape has two issues, the lease programs are absolutely terrible since the new generation released. Also the interior is a huge step back, i mean like a serious step back. Which will make someone question the worth of the car they are buying, especially when they lease like crap. However the exterior looks better in my personal opinion, but everyone has different taste which is respectable. What i will say is that 2.0t option is definitely a much better performer than the 1.5t hands down and it can be fun for what it is. In Europe the Escape (Kuga) has a much better appearance with different front end options being that they have the ST line variation and the luxury focused Vignale. Regardless they must do something about the Escape asap!

  9. Peter

    And saying that this car is one of the best selling Fords in Europe… mind you, once the Focus and Fiesta were in the top 3 but they can’t even make it in the top 10, just as this Escape.
    WAKE UP FORD before you notice, but you won’t, but perhaps the banks and investors will on day that you really need to go back to design vehicles that people actually want and desire !!! Now, it’s just a FAIL and not a FORD

    1. Alexander

      Completely agree! They need to get rid of all the execs and start over. No one at that company seems to care anymore. They do the bare minimum and hope it does ok. They finally released a good product that is the Bronco, but now they are botching that with continued delays.

  10. Drew

    While I agree the new Escape’s interior is a major step backwards and the exterior styling is a bit too “soft” and Ford’s Marketing is starving it with uncompetitive lease programs and… I’m surprised no one commented that the Bronco Sport is stealing sales from Escape.

    1. Mondeo

      I work at a Ford dealer, i can tell you for a fact the Bronco Sport is outselling the Escape hands down. The Sport makes more sense considering price and appearance. The Bronco Sport lease is crap but it has great financing and putting next to the Escape is a no brainer..

  11. Chris

    Agree Mondeo. The Bronco Sport looks much better than the Escape. Why no power liftgate on the Bronco Sport? Maybe Ford gave the Escape that soft look in the front to attract female buyers. Do you see the guys going for the Bronco Sport and the women gravitating towards the Escape or do they also think the front end is ugly? How are the lease programs bad compared to the 18 Escape lease I’m finishing up?

  12. Mike Parnell

    If Ford ever starts making the Escape PHEV, I am sure sales will pick up. People have been waiting for 2 years to get one, ever since they it was announced, and they are still waiting. If they are made to wait any longer, they will move on to another vehicle, and brand, and Ford and Escape sales will suffer even further.

  13. Beav1

    Let’s not forget in NA the way more stylish Bronco Sport – based on the same platform – is likely taking sales from Escape. My wife needed a replacement for her 2013 Escape. She instantly took the Bronco Sport. She said the Escape “looks a car my mom would buy”.

  14. Andrew P

    My Gen 2 Escape commands more money than the Gen 3’s after it. Ford made the same mistake Jeep did when it discontinued the original Cherokee back in ’01, sure the Cherokee and Escape Gen 2 designs were long in the tooth, but the usability, simplicity and pricing were great…instead of updating the design, to resemble the Gen 2, they went with the generic look EVERYONE else was using. Huge mistake, and not surprised sales are dipping.

  15. Mike says..

    The Escape seems to have all but abandoned having its own brand identity. The current generation design failed to advance the vehicles traditional strengths. It is almost as if FORD’s new Escape is
    a a new and separate line of product….. which had it not been called an Escape, would probably have done better. The quality has taken a plunge and pricing does not reflect good value. Very disappointed with this effort by FORD. One step forward, two steps back has been their logo for too long.


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