Through the ups and downs of the auto market, one thing remains constant and crucial for car buyers to know: the best time to buy is the end of the year. As 2023’s year end car sales and special offers are just around the corner, patience will reward Ford buyers with huge discounts. Here’s a look at why Ford’s end-of-year sales are on track to be big, and which Ford models are set to receive the largest discounts.
Something Has to Give: Ford Sales Slow As Inventory Builds
How could we possibly forecast massive Ford discounts a few months out? It’s as simple as this: Ford has too many new cars sitting on dealership lots, and it’s getting worse. Car dealers can’t let inventory sit for too long due to ‘floorplanning costs’. They finance the lot inventory they hold, and with high interest rates, they’ll eventually be losing money if they hold on to a vehicle for too long.
Ford’s inventory problem is growing worse. Auto industry measures inventory by ‘market day supply’. Market day supply (MDS) in the auto industry represents the number of days it would take to sell current vehicle inventory at the existing sales rate. Let’s take a look at the numbers:
July 4 – 86 days (313,689 cars)
August 15 – 96 days (318,339 cars)
September 29 – 112 days (373,059 cars)
Where is Ford inventory headed from here? The UAW strikes are the wild card, but other than that, there’s not much pointing towards quicker sales and a trend towards normal inventory without the introduction of big sales and special offers.
If you don’t think 112 days worth of unsold inventory is bad, here’s how Ford’s top competition stands today in terms of market day supply of new cars:
Honda – 35
Kia – 38
Toyota – 41
Chevrolet – 66
Hyundai – 68
Volkswagen – 81
Nissan – 84
Jeep – 176
Ram – 279
Yes, Jeep and Ram have far worse oversupply woes today, but that’s no excuse for Ford executives who will soon be deciding how far they’re willing to go with year-end sales in the months ahead.
Next, we’ll look at the five Ford models with the highest negotiability.
Ford’s Most Negotiable Models (Highest Inventory)
When you take a look at the Ford models with the highest inventory, some surprises may be in store:
F-150 Lightning – 256 days (7,749 for sale)
Mustang Mach-E – 191 days (23,256 for sale)
Explorer – 170 days (41,974 for sale)
Mustang – 150 days (11,291 for sale)
Edge – 149 days (27,245 for sale)
Market day supply of Ford’s top-selling model, the F-150, sits at 120 days with 101,256 for sale nationwide.
Conversely, the Maverick, Ranger, and Bronco all have current supplies below 60 days. These are the only Ford models that will be difficult to negotiate right now, but even with these, it’s not impossible (especially with the help of a Car Buying Coach).
These are the current deals for these models right now, and why for most of them, patience is key for a better deal.
F-150 Lightning Current Offers
Financing: 2.9% APR for 48 months + $500 cash
3.9% APR for 60 months + $500 cash
1.9% APR for 36 months + $500 cash
Lease offers: Lease a F-150 Lightning XLT for $600/month with $6,251 due.
Why you should wait: It’s worth repeating the wildest statistic in all of this Ford update. There’s a 256-day supply of F-150 Lightnings! It’s near the top of EV inventory among all OEMs, and you think this is as good as Ford incentives will get? Think again. As we approach the end of 2023, Ford is all but guaranteed to introduce greater cash incentives, and maybe even 0.0% or 0.9% APR for the Lightning. With a truck this expensive (the average selling price of the F-150 Lightning is $80,500), APR offers carry more weight.
Mustang Mach-E Current Offers
Financing: 0% APR for 36-60 month loans; 1.9% APR for 72 months. This offer applies to all trim options.
Leasing: As low as $451/month for 36 months with $4,894 due.
0% financing is a great deal right now. The average new car APR is north of 7% right now, so anything under 3% is great. But zero percent? Even better. If you can secure this offer with NO dealer markups, we say go for it.
Year-end sales are likely to introduce bigger cash incentives with continued 0% APR financing, at least until Mustang Mach-E inventory drops below 100 days of supply. We’re not sure when that will happen, but one thing’s for sure: we’re a long way from it.
Explorer Current Offers
Financing: 2.9% APR for 60 months + $1,000 cash offer. Those purchasing after the end of a Ford lease are eligible for $2,000 in additional ‘renewal cash’. Before 10/2/2023, an extra $1,000 in cash incentive is available, for a grand total of up to $4,000 off.
Leasing: As low as $439/month for 36 months with $4,969 due at signing.
Why you should wait: Ford seriously needs to sell some Explorers. With a 170-day supply and 2024 models arriving soon, even better incentives are just around the corner. Be on the lookout for 0% APR financing for a limited time, likely sometime later this fall.
Mustang Current Offers
Financing: Ford is not advertising any current APR offers for the Mustang. Contact your local dealer for more information.
Leasing: As low as $459/month for 36 months with $3,509 due
Why you should wait: There are no active Mustang finance offers as of late September, but that won’t be the case if Mustang inventory remains high come November and December. We recommend waiting until APR offers return to visit the dealership. Alternatively, you can always check your local credit union or community bank for competitive rates.
Ford Edge Current Offers
Finance offers: Ford is not advertising any current APR offers for the Edge. Contact your local dealer for more information.
Leasing: As low as $389/month for 36 months with $4,339 due at signing.
Just as with the Mustang, better special offers will be available as year-end sales approach. If you’re in the market for an Edge, it will likely be worth the wait if you can hold out until November or December.
Ford’s Year-End Sales Will Be Worth the Wait
With the close of 2023 approaching, prospective Ford buyers have something to look forward to: significant year-end discounts on various models, making the wait worthwhile. Ford’s year-end sales are poised to offer considerable savings, a welcomed relief given the current state of the auto market. This anticipation is not unfounded as there is a growing inventory of new Ford vehicles piling up on dealership lots, signaling inevitable price cuts to clear the backlog.
High interest rates are compelling dealers to quickly turn over their financed inventory to avoid accruing floorplanning costs. As Ford’s market day supply (MDS) – the industry metric for gauging inventory – shows an upward trajectory from 86 days in July to a staggering 112 days in late September, it’s clear that dealerships will soon be compelled to offer enticing discounts.
When compared to the MDS of competitors, Ford’s situation becomes even more apparent. Big discounts are all but guaranteed in the months ahead.
Car Buying Help Has Arrived!
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Knowledge is power, and with CarEdge’s insights, you’ll be equipped to seize the best deals as soon as they roll out.