Ford new vehicle sales rise in third quarter, led by trucks

Ford F-150 pickup trucks are seen on the Metro Ford sales lot in Miami, Florida.

Joe Raedle | fake images

DETROIT – Ford Motors New vehicle sales in the United States during the third quarter increased 7.7% compared to the previous year, driven by higher sales of traditional pickup trucks across its lineup.

The Detroit automaker on Wednesday reported a 15.3% increase in truck sales compared to a 5.1% drop in cars and SUV sales that were essentially flat.

Ford’s sales increase was in line with Edmunds expectations for the automaker, but below auto analysts’ forecasts for the broader industry of a 15% to 16% increase for the third trimester.

The automaker’s electric vehicle sales rose 14.8% during the quarter to nearly 21,000 units. A large majority of those sales were of the Mustang Mach-E crossover, as sales of the F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck declined approximately 46% during the quarter due to slower-than-expected demand and downtime in the plant.

Ford’s electric vehicle sales represented only about 3% of the roughly 1.5 million vehicles sold by the automaker during the first nine months of the year, including 4.2% of sales during the third quarter.

Ford’s hybrid sales, led by the F-150 and Maverick hybrid pickup trucks, reported third-quarter sales of 34,861 vehicles, up 41.4% year-over-year.

An ongoing strike by the United Auto Workers union against Detroit automakers, including Ford, was not expected to have a direct impact on sales during the quarter.

However, next month could be more challenging due to the strikes, especially for vehicles like the Ford Bronco SUV and Ranger midsize pickup truck, the first vehicles from the automaker to halt production due to the strikes, which began on March 15. September.

Only 25,200 workers, or about 17% of UAW members covered by expired contracts with GM, Ford Motor and Stellantis, are part of the work stoppages.

The UAW has been gradually escalating strikes since the work stoppages began, after the sides failed to reach tentative agreements by September 14. Selective or “stand-up” strikes are taking place instead of national walkouts in which all plants strike simultaneously.

National strikes affect companies more quickly. Selective strikes are aimed at preserving union funds and prolonging work stoppages to keep automakers out of control.

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