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Ford’s U.S. gross sales decline 33% in August as chip scarcity devastates auto business

DETROIT – U.S. gross sales of Ford Motor’s new automobiles final month declined by 33.1% from a 12 months earlier attributable to an ongoing international scarcity of semiconductor chips that is wreaking havoc on the automotive business, the corporate stated Thursday.

The Detroit automaker’s gross sales capped off a dismal month of U.S. auto gross sales in August, which plummeted to an adjusted promoting price of 13.09 million automobiles. That is the worst tempo since June 2020 and down from this 12 months’s peak of 18.5 million in April, in keeping with auto information agency Motor Intelligence.

Analysts anticipated the August promoting tempo to be between 13.1 million and 14.four million automobiles, with J.D. Energy and LMC Automotive forecasting general gross sales to say no by 13.7% in contrast with August 2020.

The gross sales tempo for any given month measures what number of vehicles the business would promote for the 12 months if it bought the identical quantity each month. It is a primary barometer of the business’s well being and demand.

August is traditionally one of many greater auto gross sales months of the 12 months, however the chip scarcity has brought about car stock ranges to plummet to document lows and pricing of latest vehicles and vans to skyrocket.

The Ford firm brand is displayed on an indication outdoors of the Chicago Meeting Plant on February 03, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.

Scott Olson | Getty Photos

Sellers solely have about 942,000 automobiles in stock for retail sale, in contrast with roughly Three million earlier than the coronavirus pandemic two years in the past, in keeping with Thomas King, president of the info and analytics division at J.D. Energy.

“Though stock is arriving at sellers day by day, it’s merely changing the automobiles being bought, stopping sellers from rising inventories to a stage essential to assist a better gross sales tempo,” King stated.

Whereas most main U.S. automakers have switched to quarterly gross sales reporting, a number of others that also report month-to-month gross sales corresponding to Honda and Subaru additionally reported double-digit losses in August. Toyota, Volvo, Hyundai and Kia reported slight gross sales will increase or losses in contrast with a 12 months in the past.

Gross sales of practically each car in Ford’s lineup have been down final month in contrast with final 12 months, with incremental gross sales beneficial properties from some new automobiles corresponding to its Bronco SUVs. Most notably, Ford’s bestselling F-Sequence pickups declined by 22.5%.

Ford’s whole gross sales final month topped 124,176 automobiles. Truck gross sales have been down by practically 30%, whereas SUVs have been off by 25.3% and automotive gross sales fell by 86% from August 2020.

A silver lining for Ford final month was that its retail gross sales have been up by 6.5% in contrast with July however nonetheless off by 33% from August 2020, in keeping with Andrew Frick, vp, Ford Gross sales U.S. and Canada.

Ford’s gross sales come a day after the automaker confirmed it was as soon as once more reducing manufacturing of its F-150 pickup truck and different extremely worthwhile automobiles because of the ongoing international scarcity of semiconductor chips.

The origin of the scarcity dates to early final 12 months when Covid brought about rolling shutdowns of car meeting crops. Because the amenities closed, the wafer and chip suppliers diverted the elements to different sectors corresponding to shopper electronics, which weren’t anticipated to be as damage by stay-at-home orders.

The issue is anticipated to price the worldwide automotive business $110 billion in income in 2021, in keeping with consulting agency AlixPartners.

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