Ford sales in the US rose 10% in the second quarter

Ford Motor Co. said Thursday that its new-vehicle sales rose 10 percent in the three months from April to June, thanks to strong truck demand.

The automaker sold 531,662 vehicles, compared to 483,688 in the second quarter of last year, as sales of vans, delivery vans and heavy trucks increased 26 percent. The increase in truck sales more than offset a drop of about 3 percent in electric vehicle sales.

Ford sold 14,843 battery-powered cars and trucks in the quarter, down from 15,273 a year earlier. The company had to slow production to upgrade its assembly lines and increase its ability to make more vehicles later this year.

The upgrade work primarily affected the Mustang Mach-E, whose sales fell 21 percent in the second quarter. Ford also sold 4,466 F-150 Lightning electric pickup trucks in the quarter. This was more than double the total compared to the prior year and the second-highest quarterly total since the truck went on sale.

On Wednesday, General Motors, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai and Kia reported increases of 14 percent or more. Overall, automakers sold more than 4.1 million cars and trucks in the second quarter, according to Cox Automotive, a market research firm, up 16 percent from a year earlier. However, the total number was about 400,000 less than the industry typically sold in the second quarter before the coronavirus pandemic.

Sales remain below pandemic levels because parts shortages have forced automakers to produce fewer cars for most of the past three years. The supply of computer chips, which have been particularly hard to come by, has improved in recent months, allowing automakers to produce more of the cars consumers have been waiting to buy.

Cox now expects total 2023 sales to exceed 15 million vehicles. While that would be a significant increase from last year’s 13.9 million, it is far less than the 17 million the industry sold before the pandemic.