Bronco SUVs in production at Ford’s Michigan Assembly plant, June 14, 2021.
Michael Wayland | CNBC
DETROIT – Ford Motor’s June and second-quarter sales were below analyst expectations as a global shortage of semiconductor chips caused significant production cuts and inventory constraints.
Ford sold 475,327 vehicles during the second quarter, a 9.6% increase from a year earlier when the coronavirus pandemic caused Americans to shelter in place and temporarily closed auto dealerships. Edmunds expected Ford’s sales to rise by 10.5%, while Cox Automotive forecast an increase of 20.5%.
For June, the automaker said Friday that its sales declined by 26.9%, including a roughly 30% drop in its F-Series pickups.
Ford previously said it expected to lose half of its production in the second quarter due to the chip shortage. Earlier this week, it also announced additional production cuts throughout July due to the problem.
Separately, The automaker said reservations for its electric F-150 Lightning pickup that’s due out next year have topped 100,000 since its debut in May.
Ford’s sales follow GM and other automakers reporting significant increases in second-quarter sales but at a slower pace through the quarter due to low vehicle inventories caused by the chip shortage.
“The quarter started off extremely strong, April broke a lot of sales records as far as over 18 million, and then we saw that inventory continue to dwindle,” said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights at Edmunds. “Consumer demand is still very strong, but the inventory is somewhat lacking.”
June’s selling rate was about 15.5 million vehicles, according to analysts. Forecasts for the selling rate were between 15.7 million and 16.4 million, down from 17.1 million vehicles in May and 18.6 million vehicles in April.
The sales pace for any given month measures how many cars the industry would sell for the year if it sold the same amount every month. It’s a main barometer of the industry’s health and consumer demand.
The chip shortage is causing a shake-up in America’s automotive ranks. For the second quarter, Toyota Motor was the bestselling automaker in the U.S., ousting General Motors.
The Japanese automaker on Thursday reported sales of 688,813 vehicles in the U.S. from April through June. That compares to GM at 688,236 vehicles during the second quarter.