Ford returning to monthly U.S. sales reporting


Ford Motor Co., which stopped reporting U.S. monthly sales nearly two years ago, has reversed course and will release monthly figures for the “foreseeable future.”

Ford wants to give investors more detail on its U.S. performance during the pandemic, said Said Deep, a company spokesman. Jim Farley took over as CEO Oct. 1 from a retiring Jim Hackett as the automaker is launching four key models — a redesign of its top-selling F-150 pickup, the electric Mustang Mach-E , the revived Bronco SUV and Bronco Sport.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford and much of the rest of the industry followed General Motors in switching to quarterly reporting.

Ford’s U.S. sales fell 6.1 percent in October, dragged down in part by a factory overhaul to produce the redesigned version of its top-selling F-150 pickup.

The decline compared with an industrywide gain of 1 percent, according to figures cited in a report issued Wednesday by Credit Suisse, as the U.S. market continues to rebound from the springtime closure of factories. Ford sold 181,820 vehicles last month when heavy trucks are excluded, down from 193,571 a year earlier, it said in a securities filing.

Sales of Ford’s F-Series pickup line slid 4 percent to 71,593 units in October after the automaker had its best third quarter for pickup sales in 15 years. Ford sold almost 900,000 F-Series trucks last year, but it’s overhauling the top money maker to catch up to recently revamped versions of Fiat Chrysler’s Ram and GM’s Chevrolet Silverado.

While overall F-Series sales declined last month, retail deliveries to individual customers rose 1.5 percent, Deep said.

Weaker fourth quarter

CFO John Lawler told investors last month Ford would lose 100,000 unit sales of the F-150 in the fourth quarter as it converts a factory near Kansas City to produce the redesigned model.

That’s a key reason Ford said it will break even or earn as much as $500 million before interest and taxes in the final three months of the year, down from $3.6 billion in the third quarter. The automaker said the launch of the new F-150, which also includes converting a factory in Dearborn, Michigan, is going smoothly.

“We’re a long way from declaring victory,” Farley said on an Oct. 28 earnings call with investors. “But we’ve worked through the launch so far. We’ve made a lot of progress as a team and now we’re into mass production.”

Ford’s truck sales dropped 7.4 percent, pulled down by a 26 percent decline in deliveries of commercial Transit vans. Car sales plunged 45 percent, as it continues to exit the sedan market in the U.S. to focus on more profitable trucks, crossovers and SUVs.

The Lincoln luxury line sold 2.8 percent more vehicles in October than a year earlier, propelled by a 37 percent rise in deliveries of its small Corsair crossover.

 

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