Bronco SUVs in production at Ford’s Michigan Assembly plant, June 14, 2021.
Michael Wayland | The Washington City Times
DETROIT – Ford Motor’s June and second quarter sales fell below analysts’ expectations as a global semiconductor chip shortage caused significant production cuts and inventory constraints.
Ford sold 475,327 vehicles in the second quarter, up 9.6% from a year earlier, as the coronavirus pandemic caused Americans to hide and temporarily close car dealerships. Edmunds expected Ford sales to rise 10.5%, while Cox Automotive forecast a 20.5% increase.
For June, the automaker said Friday that its sales were down 26.9%, including about a 30% drop in its F-series pickups.
The company said reservations for its F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck that will hit the market next year have surpassed 100,000 since its debut in May.
Ford’s sales follow GM and other automakers who report significant increases in sales in the second quarter, but at a slower pace during the quarter due to low vehicle inventories caused by the chip shortage.
“The quarter started extremely strong, April broke many sales records to over 18 million, and then we saw inventory continue to shrink,” said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights at Edmunds. “Consumer demand is still very strong, but inventory leaves something to be desired.”
According to analysts, the sales rate in June was about 15.5 million vehicles. Sales percentage forecasts ranged between 15.7 million and 16.4 million, compared to 17.1 million vehicles in May and 18.6 million vehicles in April.
The sales rate for a given month measures how many cars the industry would sell for the year if it sold the same number each month. It is an important barometer of the sector’s health and consumer demand.
The chip shortage is causing a stir in America’s automotive ranks. In the second quarter, Toyota Motor was the best-selling automaker in the United States, after General Motors.