Ford Motor Co. saw its sales drop 17.1% in the first quarter of this year — including at 25.6% slide in March — as shortages of semiconductors continued to hobble the company’s efforts to deliver more vehicles to customers.
The automaker’s decline put Toyota atop industry sales during the first quarter of 2022 ahead of both Ford and General Motors. Toyota also was the top selling brand in the U.S., leading by more than 17,000 units during the first three months. Overall Ford sold 432,132 vehicles in the first quarter, including 412,984 by just the Ford brand.
Sale of electrified vehicles increased 16.9% to 13,772 units in March and grew by 37.9% in the first quarter.
“While the global semiconductor chip shortage continues to create challenges, we saw improvement in March sales, as in-transit inventory improved 74% over February. F-Series had a record 50,000 new retail orders in March, while a record 41% of our overall retail sales came from previously placed retail orders,” said Andrew Frick, Ford vice president of sales, distribution and trucks in a statement, accompanying the sales report.
Some bright spots
The company’s newest products turned at record speed with Bronco, Bronco Sport, Mustang Mach-E and Maverick enjoying their best combined sales performance yet, with 33,398 vehicles sold. Ford is ready to deliver and positioned well for spring sales growth, Frick added.
Year-to-date, Ford F-Series leads the way in truck sales, outselling No. 2 Ram by more than 45,000 trucks. Overall, Ford pickup sales totaled 140,701 through March. Ford has sold 19,245 Maverick pickups so far this year, while turning on dealer lots in just four days, according to the Ford sales report.
Maverick is one of the hottest new products on the market, with 46.7% of customers in March choosing the hybrid model, which achieves 42 city and 33 highway mpg, the report said.
Ford’s sales numbers were similar to those in the rest of auto industry for the first three months of 2022 looked weak as the shortages continued to limit inventory and customer choices.
Tough quarter for industry
Big names such as General Motors, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Subaru and Kia watched their sales drop by double digits in the first quarter. The decline seemed to accelerate in March as even Hyundai reported a drop in sales for the month.
On the heels of its strongest year in history in 2021, Porsche Cars North America, reported deliveries in the first three months of 2022 dropped 24.9 percent. The fall came as a fire sank a large freighter carrying new Porches and vehicles from other automotive brands, Porsche reported.
Mazda North American Operations did better than most car makers, reporting total March sales of 33,023 vehicles, an increase of 3.2% compared to March 2021. Year-to-date sales totaled 82,268 vehicles; a decrease of 1.2% compared to the same time last year.
Mitsubishi Motor North America also reported its sales in the first quarter fell by less than 1% as the company maintained much of the momentum it had built up during 2021, the company said. Volkswagen of America Inc. reported sales of 64,993 units delivered in the first quarter of 2022, a 28.5% to decline from first quarter of 2021.
Stephanie Brinley, principal automotive analyst, S&P Global Mobility, noted “Lack of inventory continues to hold US sales back in the first quarter of 2022, which had been expected, though the Russia-Ukraine conflict has only exacerbated the already difficult situation.
Source: The Detroit Bureau Read More