U.S. Sales Enforcement: Ford Explorer Police Interceptor Utility vs. Ford Taurus Police Interceptor Sedan

2016 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor Utility (Source: Ford)

Since becoming available in March 2012, 64% of the Police Interceptors sold by Ford in the United States were Explorer Police Interceptor Utilities. 

U.S. sales of the Taurus Police Interceptor Sedan declined in 6% in calendar year 2014, fell a further 5% in 2015, and are down 2% through the first three months of 2016.

Meanwhile, sales of the Explorer Police Interceptor Sedan jumped 21% in 2014, increased 6% in 2015, and are up 27% through the first-quarter of 2016.

The trend isn’t difficult to spot, particularly since it’s completely in keeping with trends in the overall market. 

Cars are fading; SUVs and crossovers are on the rise. (With pickup trucks surging, Ford is more directly targeting the F-150 to the police market, as well.)

2016 Ford Taurus Police Interceptor Sedan (Source: Ford)

That which is true in the civilian market clearly applies in the policing procurement market, as well. Year-over-year, U.S. auto sales climbed 3% in the first three months of 2016, a gain of more than 133,000 units. But passenger car volume was down 5%, a loss of more than 90,000 sales compared with the January-March period in 2015, a loss incurred in part by transitioning top sellers (Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Cruze) but also by moderately high-volume midsize cars (Kia Optima, Chrysler 200, Volkswagen Passat) and numerous top-selling luxury cars (BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus ES).  

2016 Q1
12 Months
Ford Explorer
Police Interceptor Utility
24,942 20,655 14,086 5,863 73,076
Ford Taurus
Police Interceptor Sedan
9,765 10,234 10,897 8,309 41,480
36,260 34,707 30,889 24,983 14,172 114,556

Source: Ford Motor Company

These car losses were more than counteracted by gains among pickup trucks – where total volume is up 7% so far this year – and particularly with SUV/crossover improvement. 

America’s top-selling utility vehicle in early 2016, the Toyota RAV4, is up 14%, easily exceeding the 9% uptick among SUVs/CUVs overall. The Toyota Highlander, Ford Edge, Dodge Journey, and Toyota 4Runner are all among America’s 20 top-selling utilities; all are outpacing growth in the overall utility vehicle sector.

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At the Ford brand more specifically, car sales have grown ever so slightly in early 2016 thanks to Fusion and Mustang improvement, as well as modest sales increases for the civilian Taurus. But in contrast to Ford cars’ collective 1% increase through three months, the Escape, Edge, Flex, Explorer, Explorer Police Interceptor, and Expedition – all of which are sold more often in 2016’s first-quarter than in 2015’s – are up 15%, an increase of 24,383 units.

Of those 24,383 additional January/February/March sales achieved in 2016, 1,610 were Police Interceptor Utilities. The Police Interceptor Utility accounts for 12% of total U.S. Explorer sales in 2016. The Police Interceptor Sedan generates 17% of total U.S. Taurus volume.

Historic Monthly & Yearly Ford Explorer Police Interceptor Sales Figures
Historic Monthly & Yearly Ford Taurus Police Interceptor Sales Figures
Complete U.S. Vehicle Sales By Model – March 2016 YTD