While this week’s headlines are filled with the first reviews of the new F-150 Lightning, Ford has some impactful news about another member of its pickup family. As with the new Lightning, the Detroit automaker is struggling to keep up with demand for the 2022 Maverick pickup.
Initial reservations were so strong that it had to close the order bank back in January for all versions of the truck. But, as deliveries ramp up, the real news is just how strong demand has been for the “base” Maverick hybrid.
Maverick Hybrid Appeals to Younger Demographic, Sells Out in Record Time
The gas-electric model is now generating half of all Maverick sales, even with the more powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost available for a reasonable $1,085 upcharge. The hybrid is also bringing in the sort of younger, hipper buyers Ford was hoping for, with the majority “conquested” from competing brands.
There was plenty of skepticism when Ford first announced plans for the Maverick. While these days, pickups make up one of the largest segments of the U.S. new-vehicle market, the vast majority of buyers opt for full-size models.
Midsize offerings, such as the Ford Ranger, have staged a rebound in recent years, but their numbers still pale in comparison to their bigger brothers. It was anyone’s guess whether there’d be a consumer appetite for compact offerings like Maverick and the also-new Hyundai Santa Cruz.
Apparently, there is. Together, those two new models generated 27,645 sales during the first quarter, followed by a strong April—and some analysts believe they’d have done even better were it not for the ongoing semiconductor shortage. Demand proved so intense that the entire first-year production of 2022 Maverick Hybrids was sold out by December of 2021.
Maverick Outsells Santa Cruz
Parse the numbers and Maverick has solidly outsold its Korean competitor, with American motorists snapping up 19,245 during the first quarter compared with 8,400 Santa Cruz pickups.
Hyundai isn’t the only brand hammered by Ford. New data from Ford sourced from S&P Global Mobility, reveals that 60% of Maverick customers were, in industry parlance, “conquests,” primarily coming from three top competitors: Toyota, Honda and Chevrolet. This is huge, particularly in the truck world, where brand loyalty runs deep.
And, as Ford had hoped, Maverick is drawing in the sort of young customers the auto industry craves, with more than a third of them under 44, based on retail registration data from S&P.
Texas, California, Michigan and Florida Lead Maverick Demand
Perhaps less surprisingly, Maverick is clicking with buyers in states where pickups are everyday drivers. That includes Texas which already accounts for about 20% of Ford F-Series truck volume. The other top states for Maverick include California, Michigan and Florida, the S&P study shows.
Some other numbers underscore just how well Maverick is doing. It actually outsold Ford’s Ranger during the first quarter of the year. The automaker delivered just 17,639 of the midsize truck, a decline of 27% year-over-year.
Production Bottlenecks Hold Back Volume
There are likely some buyers who opted to downsize from Ranger to Maverick, but the dip is more likely the result of production snags related to the semiconductor shortage, according to analysts. But shortages also caused Ford to delay the launch of the hybrid Maverick which might otherwise have done even better.
The good news for Ford is that Maverick is now one of the 20 fastest-selling new vehicles on the market. The downside is that it simply can’t meet demand and some pre-orders now won’t be met until 2023.