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

DETROIT – U.S. gross sales of Ford Motor’s new autos 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 trade, 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 autos. That is the worst tempo since June 2020 and down from this 12 months’s peak of 18.5 million in April, in response to auto knowledge agency Motor Intelligence.

Analysts anticipated the August promoting tempo to be between 13.1 million and 14.four million autos, 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 trade would promote for the 12 months if it offered the identical quantity each month. It is a most important barometer of the trade’s well being and demand.

August is traditionally one of many larger auto gross sales months of the 12 months, however the chip scarcity has precipitated automobile stock ranges to plummet to file lows and pricing of recent vehicles and vans to skyrocket.

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

Scott Olson | Getty Pictures

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

“Though stock is arriving at sellers every day, it’s merely changing the autos being offered, stopping sellers from rising inventories to a stage essential to help 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 equivalent 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 automobile in Ford’s lineup had been down final month in contrast with final 12 months, with incremental gross sales positive aspects from some new autos equivalent to its Bronco SUVs. Most notably, Ford’s bestselling F-Collection pickups declined by 22.5%.

Ford’s whole gross sales final month topped 124,176 autos. Truck gross sales had been down by practically 30%, whereas SUVs had 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 had been up by 6.5% in contrast with July however nonetheless off by 33% from August 2020, in response to 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 chopping manufacturing of its F-150 pickup truck and different extremely worthwhile autos because of the ongoing international scarcity of semiconductor chips.

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

The issue is anticipated to value the worldwide automotive trade $110 billion in income in 2021, in response to consulting agency AlixPartners.

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