Ford suspends Maverick hybrid reservations until summer

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Ford’s commercial success with the Maverick pickup is undeniable. But if you need more proof, the automaker has started advising dealers to stop taking reservations on the base hybrid model because it doesn’t even think it can keep up with the existing backlog.

Both Automotive News and The Wall Street Journal reported on memos issued to dealers on Monday. The automaker has since confirmed the decision, saying it plans to reopen order books for model year 2023 Maverick Hybrids this summer. This is done to ensure that he can produce enough vans to deal with the backlog and hopefully convince more potential buyers to ditch the base $19,995 van (before taxes, destination charges or options) for the non-hybrid version that uses the 2.0-litre EcoBoost. and costs a few thousand dollars more.

The turbocharged Maverick (250 hp) is noticeably braver in acceleration, opens the door to several desirable options that the hybrid (191 hp) lacks, and even doubles its maximum towing capacity to 4,000 pounds with the equipment package. appropriate. But that’s not quite the deal of the base model and lacks the truly impressive efficiency ratings issued by the EPA. Turbocharged Mavericks are rated at 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway, with all-wheel-drive variants losing an extra 1 mile per gallon. Hybrids deliver 42 mpg city and 33 mpg highway, making them ideal for drivers on a tight fuel budget.

“We didn’t want to take more orders than we could build,” said Dean Stoneley, general manager of Ford Trucks. “We’re getting customers who might have bought a used car and are now buying the Maverick because it’s so affordable.”

With used vehicle prices exceptionally high at the moment, dealers have also been able to charge more for new vehicles. But the Maverick Hybrid represented relatively good value, especially after domestic automakers phased out economy cars a few years ago to maximize profitability. Given the current state of the economy and the significant rise in fuel prices that took place in 2021, one would assume that the Ford Maverick is gobbling up sales that would otherwise have gone to the smaller sedans and hatchbacks that had previously removed from North America. Marlet.

From WSJ:

Ford launched the Maverick last year as a more manageable alternative to the big pickups that now dominate the US market. The truck attracted many first-time truck buyers who moved away from sedans or small SUVs, dealers said.

Ford decided in 2018 to eliminate cars from its lineup that had long served as entry points for new-car buyers, including the money-losing Fiesta and Focus, executives said.

Ford’s decision to drop entry-level cars frustrated many dealers, who said it left them with few options to offer buyers for less than $30,000.
Other automakers have also followed suit in recent years, dropping small cars and budget sedans from their showrooms and adding more expensive trucks and SUVs to boost profit margins.

There are five nameplates in the United States today with an average price of $20,000 or less, up from 19 a decade ago, research firm Cox Automotive said.

Chris Lemley, president of Sentry Auto Group, a Boston-area Ford-Lincoln-Mazda dealership, said WSJ that the decision to suspend customer orders on a vehicle like the Maverick was unusual. But that it was also “appropriate to the circumstances” to avoid disappointing customers. He also said the weight of the pickup trucks is currently trading in the mid to high range of $20,000.

“We desperately needed something in this price range, concluded Lemley.

The good news is that Maverick’s situation didn’t come out of nowhere. Ford was aware it was running out of hybrids in December and would likely have to stop taking reservations for the 2023 model year if it couldn’t entice more people to buy the more expensive EcoBoost. The automaker said it would stop taking new orders for the Hybrid after Jan. 27 to focus on existing reservations. He also hinted that he might try to increase capacity, although your author would bet Ford would prefer it if more people bought the turbocharged version.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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