Earnings

Ford’s sales improving but still down by 27.4% in the third quarter

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Thousands of Ford F-150s without chips are stored at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky, U.S., September 8, 2021.
Jeff Dean | Reuters

DETROIT – Ford Motor’s U.S. vehicle sales showed signs of improvement during the third quarter, but still fell by 27.4% from last year as an ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips interrupted vehicle production.

The drastic decline was narrower than auto forecasters expected, but wider than the overall industry that was estimated to be down between 13% and 14% from the same time last year. Cox Automotive expected Ford’s sales to be down by 37.3% during the third quarter, while Edmunds forecast a 29.3% decline.

A silver lining is Ford’s sales improved during the quarter from losses of more than 30% in July and August to 17.7% in September, signaling better supply of semiconductor chips. Its vehicle inventory also improved to 236,000 cars and trucks, up 21,000 units compared with the start of September.

Shares of Ford were up by more than 4% in trading Monday morning.

Ford sold 400,843 vehicles in the third quarter, including more than 156,600 in September. Its sales heading into October were nearly 1.4 million, down by 7% compared with the first three quarters of 2020.

Ford said reservations for its upcoming F-150 Lightning electric pickup have topped more than 150,000. That compares with 100,000 reservations at the end of the second quarter, according to the company.

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