Ford slips below GM for #2 in US EV sales for the first quarter of 2023

Ford Motor released its first quarter sales Tuesday showing a 41% increase in EV sales. Despite the growth, Ford was outpaced in the first three months of 2023 by rival GM on the back of record Chevy Bolt EV sales.

GM outpaces Ford in EV sales in Q1 2023

According to Ford’s press release, the American automaker sold a total of 10,866 electric vehicles in the first quarter of 2023, up 41% year over year (YOY).

The most surprising to see is Mustang Mach-E sales slipping 19.7% to 5,407 compared to 6,734 in Q1 2022. The decrease comes as Ford’s factory in Mexico was down for most of the quarter.

Despite halting production of the F-150 Lightning earlier this year over battery issues (only 18 vehicles were impacted) and resuming operations in March, Ford sold 4,291 electric pickups in the quarter.

Sales of Ford’s electric commercial van, the E-Transit, were up 62.7% as businesses and fleets continued trending toward sustainable, zero-emission transportation options.

However, the growth was not enough to fend off GMs surging EV sales this year. GM said on Monday it had sold over 20,000 EVs for the first time in a quarter, nearly double that of Ford’s in the first three months of 2023.

The upsurge in EV sales was fueled by Chevy Bolt EV and EUV sales, selling 19,700 alone after overcoming a recall in early 2022 for its third consecutive record quarter.

GM’s other EVs didn’t add much to the total, with Cadillac Lyriq sales reaching 968 and a measly two Hummer EV pickups were sold in Q1.

According to GM, Chevy Bolt EV/EUV sales will reach 70,000 units in 2023 as demand for affordable EV options continues soaring.

Ford does have plans to accelerate EV production with its “largest, most advanced and efficient auto complex” in the automaker’s 118-year history under development called BlueOval City. The project consists of three battery plants, with an expected 129 GWh, and an EV assembly facility that’s on track to begin operations in 2025.

The automaker is forecasting the F-150 Lightning hitting a 150,000 annual run rate by the end of this year with the Mach-E achieving an annual run rate of 210,000.

Ford also said it will add a third crew this month to boost production of the E-Transit at its Kansas City Assembly plant.

Electrek’s Take

Both Ford and GM are overcoming production and supply hurdles like the rest of the auto industry. From the first quarter results, it looks like GM is navigating the environment better with its sub-$30k Chevy Bolt EV.

Ford isn’t the only automaker that saw sales of its most popular EV fall in Q1 in the US. Hyundai reported a 22% decrease in IONIQ 5 sales, while Kia EV6 sales slipped 68% to 988 from 3,156 in Q1 2022.

Rivian said it remains on track to hit its 50,000 annual production target after building 9,395 EVs in the first quarter and selling nearly 8,000.

Still, Tesla remains the sole leader by a wide margin in the US, delivering a record 422,875 vehicles in the quarter as it continues building its global network.