Ford’s U.S. sales fell 15.6% in 2020 due to Covid and F-150 availability

2021 Ford F-150 Lariat


U.S. auto sales for Ford Motor fell 15.6% final yr due to the coronavirus pandemic, a decline in industrial fleet sales and tight inventories of its F-150 pickup vans.

Sales of the favored full-size pickup tumbled by about 33% in the fourth quarter from the identical time final yr, the automaker reported Wednesday. The decrease sales have been attributed to lingering results from manufacturing facility shutdowns final spring due to Covid-19 in addition to a changeover in manufacturing of the services to produce the redesigned F-150.

“We’re optimizing the production at both plants right now and it’s a matter of getting more F-150s out to our dealer lots,” Erich Merkle, Ford’s head of U.S. sales evaluation, instructed CNBC. He mentioned inventories of the F-150 have been 141,000 items to finish final yr, down from 267,000 a yr earlier.

Ford’s 2020 sales decline is anticipated to be in line with the general U.S. automotive business, which is projected to be off by about 15% to 14.5 million automobiles. That could be the bottom home sales since 2012. It additionally ends an unprecedented five-year streak of sales topping 17 million items.

Ford’s truck sales slid 11.3% in 2020, whereas SUVs have been off by 9.7% yr over yr. Sales of passenger automobiles, which Ford is discontinuing, other than key fashions such because the Mustang, plummeted 44.7% in contrast with 2019.

Andrew Frick, Ford vp of U.S. and Canada sales, believes the corporate is nicely positioned this yr from a product standpoint because it transitions away from passenger automobiles.

“Fourth quarter represented an inflection point at Ford in our transition from cars to a much greater focus on iconic trucks and SUVs to better serve our customers,” he mentioned in a launch. “We are well positioned to see the benefits of our focused efforts throughout 2021.”

Correction: Ford reported F-150 pickup truck sales on Wednesday. An earlier model misstated the day.

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