The Ford Maverick Is A Colossal Failure

Estimated read time 4 min read

But it’s not for all the reasons you might be thinking.

Back when the Ford Maverick first debuted, I got all kinds of hate for calling it the worst reveal of the year. My argument was the use of the “Maverick” nameplate wasn’t appropriate and that the little truck was a niche product, at best. What I immediately found out was Maverick owners and fans are some of the most hypersensitive people on the internet.

You should just buy the truck.

However, I stand by my objectively true statements that the Maverick is a wimp when it comes to towing and hauling, the two main reasons to buy any pickup truck. You can argue you want a Maverick to not do much of either and that’s fine, but it’s objectively true that I can get a used minivan and do pretty much anything the little unibody truck can.

But wait, the Maverick is turning out to be a failure in another way, one that to me just isn’t surprising in the least but that escaped its throngs of screaming, hypersensitive fans. As YouTube channel Car Questions Answered recently pointed out, Ford doesn’t really want to sell many Mavericks.

See, some people feel that Ford could just churn out more Mavericks than F-Series trucks and make a ton of money off volume. That sounds great but the reality is the profit margin on the tiny pickups is, well, tiny. As pointed out in the video I’ve included, the market adjustments on F-Series trucks equal more than the final sales price of most Mavericks.

Ford isn’t stupid. It’s in the business to make money, not stroke the ultra-sensitive egos of Maverick fanboys. Same goes for dealerships. As the guy in the video found out while touring several Ford dealerships in the area, he could get a Maverick but the wait time was 6-8 months. One dealer was charging several thousand more.

There were virtually no Mavericks on the lots, however there were plenty of F-Series trucks. And there were a few Rangers, too. One would argue that just shows how popular the Maverick is because dealers just can’t keep them in stock, but the fact is dealers don’t want them on their lots because they make next to nothing on them relative to other Ford trucks.

In other words, the Maverick is a donkey. While Ram seems to be gearing up to bring its small truck, the Rampage, to the US it just wouldn’t be surprising if it’s similarly difficult to get. Having a relatively affordable option to get people excited and at dealers can be a way to get people into a more expensive option. This is even with the Maverick costing far more than the ultra-affordable price point that was promoted. That’s just business.

On the other hand, Ford dealers are struggling with the same problem as pretty much everyone else: their inventory is growing as production is increasing but high interest rates and economic uncertainty keep shoppers away. The prices of so many F-150s are just ridiculous, but something will have to give and I don’t think it will be to send a deluge of Mavericks to dealers.

To say the Maverick is a colossal failure wouldn’t be too harsh. Nobody seems to want them, save a few smug guys on the internet. And all the continually slobbering articles released by other car sites as they get all worked up over all the supposed Maverick sales rush I think really just functions to keep their very cozy relationship with Ford jovial. A dealership employee says in the video they can’t order anymore after all the build slots sold out in just four days. That’s not a statement of the Maverick’s popularity but instead is evidence Ford wants to keep supply low because the truck just isn’t that profitable. This is why people have to wait until early next year to get one.

Steven Symes

Steven Symes is an accomplished automotive journalist with a passion for all things related to cars. His extensive knowledge and love for the automotive world shine through in his writing, which covers a diverse range of topics.

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  1. 1

    If Ford does not ramp up Maverick production to satisfy demand they will forfeit sales to other manufacturers who see the opportunity.

  2. 2

    While the Maverick certainly isn’t a truck for towing or hauling anything meaningful, it fits a niche. I’m buying a hybrid one for my son for graduation. It checks all the boxes I care about, namely that it’s affordable and fuel efficient. Put it this way. It gets almost same mileage as a Toyota Corrola, it’s less money, and has a bed. Thats hard to beat. My kid loves golfing, hunting, & fishing and that little Maverick meets his needs for the immediate future. . I can’t say I’ve spoken w/ a Maverick owner myself so maybe they really are like Apple & Tesla fan boys but me and bunch of other dads I know think they’re the perfect vehicle for our kids. As for Ford’s perspective and profitability, they should absolutely love the fact that my kid’s 1st vehicle (registered to him anyway) is a Ford and a pick up no less. Great opportunity for them to upsell to a Ranger or F150 as he grows in age, experience, needs, and income.

  3. 3

    I think your statement that the Maverick is a low margin vehicle is correct. But you missed the point on why people buy them. They are selling like hotcakes here in Texas because many first-time buyers that want a truck but live in an apartment can now can get one that will fit in their parking garage. Also it seems to be the “yuppie/DINK” car for the new family that just moved into the suburbs that match their Tesla model 3 so they can feel like they are “Still one with the green movement”. Given the number of Rangers & Tacomas I see in the area, the demand will grow. Yes Ford, GMC, RAM, and Toyota want to sell bigger high profit trucks…Those folks, like me, in a full size probably wont go to a Maverick. However, my oldest will be driving age in ~2 years. The Maverick looks like a safe first vehicle for her. My youngest has already tagged my Ram TRX as hers….but she has 8 years to go.

  4. 4
    Eric H

    I agree and disagree to an extent. On the point about the minivan, a new Maverick base model is in the low 20s. A new minivan is in the mid 30s. It’s also similarly hard to find a new Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey as it is a new maverick so they are even there.

    I agree that Ford is limiting production of the maverick. However, I don’t see how that benefits ford. People in the market for a under 30k vehicle are not going to buy a 50k plus vehicle. They’re entirely different markets. Even if they were the same price, fuel economy is important to me so I’d still want the smaller vehicle.

    Personally I wanted a new smaller vehicle and the maverick topped my list. I couldn’t get one so I just bought something else instead… but not a Ford. Even if mavericks aren’t very profitable they still do make some profit. And some profit > 0 profit. Ford made 0 dollars on my CX5 purchase.

    Ford is playing a dangerous game. I’d bet that within 5ish years Chinese manufacturers will start selling their cars here. If Ford has qualms about selling less profitable small vehicles… the Chinese won’t have that issue. Go ahead Ford, ignore what your consumers want because of greed, all that does is set them up to drop you like a rock as soon as something else that fits their needs is available.

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