Ford Authority

Ford Explorer Places Second In Segment During Q2 2021

Ford Explorer sales increased in the United States, Canada, and Mexico during the second quarter of 2021.

Ford Explorer Sales - Q2 2021 - United States

In the United States, Ford Explorer deliveries totaled 52,997 units in Q2 2021, an increase of about 18 percent compared to 44,839 units sold in Q2 2020.

In the first six months of the year, Explorer sales increased about 17 percent to 118,241 units.
MODEL Q2 2021 / Q2 2020 Q2 2021 Q2 2020YTD 2021 / YTD 2020 YTD 2021 YTD 2020
EXPLORER +18.19% 52,997 44,839 +16.90% 118,241 101,149

Ford Explorer Sales - Q2 2021 - Canada

In Canada, Ford Explorer deliveries totaled 4,773 units in Q2 2021, an increase of about 61 percent compared to 2,963 units sold in Q2 2020.

In the first six months of the year, Explorer sales increased about 25 percent to 8,358 units.
MODEL Q2 2021 / Q2 2020 Q2 2021 Q2 2020YTD 2021 / YTD 2020 YTD 2021 YTD 2020
EXPLORER +61.09% 4,773 2,963 +24.82% 8,358 6,696

Ford Explorer Sales - Q2 2021 - Mexico

In Mexico, Ford Explorer deliveries totaled 279 units in Q2 2021, an increase of about 51 percent compared to 185 units sold in Q2 2020.

In the first six months of the year, Explorer sales increased about 127 percent to 597 units.
MODEL Q2 2021 / Q2 2020 Q2 2021 Q2 2020YTD 2021 / YTD 2020 YTD 2021 YTD 2020
EXPLORER +50.81% 279 185 +127.00% 597 263

Competitive Sales Comparison (USA)

Ford Explorer sales rose 18 percent to 52,997 units during the second quarter of 2021 in the United States. Despite the 18 percent sales increase, the three-row crossover finished in second place in its segment by sales volume, outsold by the Toyota Highlander by 27,552 units.

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

Sales Numbers - Mainstream Large Three-Row Crossovers - Q2 2021 - United States

MODEL Q2 21 / Q2 20 Q2 21 Q2 20 Q2 21 SHARE Q2 20 SHARE
TOYOTA HIGHLANDER +158.33% 80,549 31,181 23% 14%
FORD EXPLORER +18.19% 52,997 44,839 15% 21%
CHEVROLET TRAVERSE +103.43% 45,394 22,314 13% 10%
HONDA PILOT +45.90% 45,109 30,917 13% 14%
VOLKSWAGEN ATLAS +141.27% 39,377 16,321 11% 8%
KIA TELLURIDE +175.84% 23,584 8,550 7% 4%
HYUNDAI PALISADE +15.12% 22,294 19,366 6% 9%
DODGE DURANGO +52.69% 17,855 11,694 5% 5%
SUBARU ASCENT -11.87% 13,900 15,773 4% 7%
MAZDA CX-9 +74.57% 10,879 6,232 3% 3%
NISSAN PATHFINDER -47.56% 4,647 8,861 1% 4%
TOTAL +65.05% 356,585 216,048

The Highlander held a 23 percent share while the Explorer followed with 15 percent. The Traverse and Pilot took 13 percent, each, and the Atlas held 11 percent. All other models accounted for 7 percent or less of the segment share.

The three-row, large crossover segment expanded 65 percent to 356,585 units in Q2 2021. In other words, the Explorer grew at a slower pace compared to the segment average. The majority of models posted higher increases than the Ford Explorer, such as the Kia Telluride with a 176 percent increase, the Toyota Highlander with a 158 percent increase, and the Volkswagen Atlas with a 141 percent increase. The only models to post a decrease in sales this quarter were the Subaru Ascent and Nissan Pathfinder with 12 and 48 percent declines, respectively.

For informational and comparative purposes, we are also providing sales figures for midsize crossovers that overlap with large crossovers 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 Nissan Murano, Ford Edge, Chevrolet Blazer, and Hyundai Santa Fe

Sales Numbers - Overlapping Crossover Sales - Q2 2021 - United States

MODEL Q2 21 / Q2 20 Q2 21 Q2 20 YTD 21 / YTD 20 YTD 21 YTD 20
JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE +13.82% 52,726 46,326 +11.94% 107,924 96,409
HYUNDAI SANTA FE +46.81% 34,540 23,527 +45.32% 63,110 43,429
KIA SORENTO +44.82% 28,589 19,741 +27.83% 48,313 37,796
GMC ACADIA +72.33% 26,266 15,242 +40.37% 46,222 32,928
CHEVROLET BLAZER +4.38% 20,590 19,726 -4.81% 39,855 41,870
FORD EDGE -18.27% 17,205 21,052 -22.30% 39,355 50,651
NISSAN MURANO +8.42% 15,496 14,292 -9.86% 27,019 29,975
MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER +140.18% 6,569 2,735 -31.32% 10,675 15,544

The Ford Authority Take

Following a rocky launch of the all-new model that made its debut for the 2020 model year, Ford Explorer sales have maintained a solid upward trajectory for the past year, reporting a 16 percent increase in Q1 2021, a 29 percent rise in Q4 2020, an 87 percent jump during Q3 2020, and a 27 percent increase during Q2 2020. This is great news in and of itself, and even better news given the substantial loss in sales opportunities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent impact of the virus, including the ongoing microchip shortage.

For Q2 2021, the majority of the segment followed a similar trend while some models posted significant decreases, likely due to constraints related to availability. Overall, Q2 2021 Explorer sales were in line with the segment as a whole. Additionally, the Explorer was one of nine models to post a positive sales performance during the quarter.

We attribute the jump in Ford Explorer sales during Q2 2021 to the following two factors:

  • Improved availability of the all-new model when compared to Q2 2020, during which time Ford production was idled as a result of the virus, and
  • Improved interest in the crossover utility vehicle

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 Q2. Combined, the Kia and Hyundai accounted for 45,878 units, which is 7,119 units shy 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.

Another rival that will add competitive pressure to the Explorer is GM’s Chevrolet Traverse, which will receive a refresh for the 2022 model year. Meanwhile, FCA is launching the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee. The popular Jeep nameplate will add a three-row variant for this go-round, dubbed the Grand Cherokee L, which will compete directly with the Explorer.

About The Numbers

  • All percent change figures compared to Ford Explorer sales for Q2 2020, unless note otherwise
  • In the United States, there were 77 selling days in Q2 2021 and 77 selling days in Q2 2020
  • 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.
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee sales are comprised of the two-row Grand Cherokee and the three-row Grand Cherokee L

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Ford Motor Company Q2 2021 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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