Ford’s U.S. gross sales drop 33% as chip shortage devastates vehicle market

DETROIT – U.S. sales of Ford Motor’s new cars very last thirty day period declined by 33.1% from a year previously due to an ongoing world wide lack of semiconductor chips that is wreaking havoc on the automotive market, the company claimed Thursday.

The Detroit automaker’s product sales capped off a dismal month of U.S. auto revenue in August, which plummeted to an altered providing charge of 13.09 million autos. That’s the worst pace due to the fact June 2020 and down from this year’s peak of 18.5 million in April, according to car info organization Motor Intelligence.

Analysts expected the August marketing speed to be in between 13.1 million and 14.4 million cars, with J.D. Power and LMC Automotive forecasting general profits to drop by 13.7% compared with August 2020.

The income speed for any provided thirty day period actions how many automobiles the marketplace would promote for the year if it offered the same volume every month. It is really a key barometer of the industry’s overall health and demand from customers.

August is traditionally a single of the better car revenue months of the 12 months, but the chip shortage has brought on car or truck inventory levels to plummet to document lows and pricing of new vehicles and vans to skyrocket.

The Ford business symbol is shown on a indication exterior of the Chicago Assembly Plant on February 03, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.

Scott Olson | Getty Pictures

Dealers only have about 942,000 automobiles in stock for retail sale, in contrast with roughly 3 million just before the coronavirus pandemic two a long time ago, in accordance to Thomas King, president of the knowledge and analytics division at J.D. Ability.

“Though stock is arriving at sellers daily, it is just changing the vehicles remaining offered, avoiding sellers from escalating inventories to a degree required to aid a increased revenue rate,” King reported.

Although most important U.S. automakers have switched to quarterly revenue reporting, many some others that continue to report monthly product sales this sort of as Honda and Subaru also described double-digit losses in August. Toyota, Volvo, Hyundai and Kia noted slight gross sales raises or losses in contrast with a yr in the past.

Product sales of virtually each vehicle in Ford’s lineup had been down very last month when compared with previous yr, with incremental profits gains from some new cars this kind of as its Bronco SUVs. Most notably, Ford’s bestselling F-Series pickups declined by 22.5%.

Ford’s total gross sales previous thirty day period topped 124,176 motor vehicles. Truck revenue were down by almost 30%, whilst SUVs have been off by 25.3% and motor vehicle revenue fell by 86% from August 2020.

A silver lining for Ford past thirty day period was that its retail income were up by 6.5% in contrast with July but still off by 33% from August 2020, according to Andrew Frick, vice president, Ford Income U.S. and Canada.

Ford’s sales appear a day soon after the automaker verified it was as soon as again chopping output of its F-150 pickup truck and other really rewarding motor vehicles due to the ongoing global lack of semiconductor chips.

The origin of the lack dates to early past yr when Covid prompted rolling shutdowns of vehicle assembly vegetation. As the facilities closed, the wafer and chip suppliers diverted the components to other sectors this kind of as shopper electronics, which were not expected to be as harm by remain-at-dwelling orders.

The difficulty is expected to price tag the international automotive business $110 billion in earnings in 2021, according to consulting company AlixPartners.