Ford U.S. sales drop 33% as chip shortage devastates auto industry

DETROIT – US sales of Ford Motor Last month, new vehicles were down 33.1% from a year earlier due to a continuing global shortage of semiconductor chips that is wreaking havoc in the auto industry, the company said Thursday.

Sales of the Detroit automaker closed a dismal month of US auto sales in August, which fell to an adjusted sales rate of 13.09 million vehicles. It’s the worst pace since June 2020 and down from this year’s high of 18.5 million in April, according to automotive data firm Motor Intelligence.

Analysts expected August sales pace to be between 13.1 million and 14.4 million vehicles, with JD Power and LMC Automotive forecasting overall sales to decline 13.7% from August 2020.

The pace of sales for a given month measures the number of cars the industry would sell for the year if it sold the same amount each month. It is a primary barometer of health and industry demand.

August is historically one of the highest selling auto months of the year, but the chip shortage has caused vehicle inventory levels to drop to record highs and prices to drop to record highs. new cars and trucks to soar.

The Ford company logo is displayed on a sign outside the Chicago Assembly Plant on February 3, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.

Scott Olson | Getty Images

Dealerships only have around 942,000 vehicles in stock for retail, up from around 3 million before the coronavirus pandemic two years ago, according to Thomas King, president of the data and analytics division at JD Power.

“While inventory arrives at dealerships daily, it simply replaces the vehicles being sold, preventing dealerships from increasing inventory to a level necessary to support a higher sales pace,” King said.

While most of the major US automakers have switched to quarterly sales reports, several others that still report monthly sales, such as Honda and Subaru, also reported double-digit losses in August. Toyota, Volvo and Hyundai and Kia reported slight increases or losses in sales compared to a year ago.

Sales of almost all vehicles in the Ford lineup declined last month compared to last year, with additional sales gains of some new vehicles such as its SUV Bronco. Most notably, Ford’s best-selling F-series pickup trucks were down 22.5%.

Ford’s total sales last month exceeded 124,176 vehicles. Truck sales are down almost 30%, while SUVs are down 25.3% and car sales are down 86% from August 2020.

A silver lining for Ford last month was that its retail sales were up 6.5% from July but still down 33% from August 2020, according to Andrew Frick, vice president, Ford Sales US and Canada.

Ford sales come a day after the automaker confirmed it was cutting production again of his F-150 pickup truck and other highly profitable vehicles due to the current global shortage of semiconductor chips.

The origin of the shortage dates back to the beginning of last year when The Covid has caused gradual shutdowns vehicle assembly plants. As the facility closed, wafer and chip suppliers diverted parts to other industries such as consumer electronics, which should not be as affected by door-to-door orders.

The problem is expected to cost the global auto industry $ 110 billion in revenue in 2021, according to AlixPartners consulting firm.

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