Ford Motor said Thursday that its new vehicle sales rose 10 percent in the three months between April and June on strong demand for trucks.
The automaker sold 531,662 motor vehicles in the second quarter of the year, up from 483,688, as sales of pickups, delivery vans and heavy trucks rose 26 percent. A decline in electric vehicle sales of about 3 percent was offset by an increase in truck sales.
Ford sold 14,843 battery-powered cars and trucks in the quarter, down from 15,273 in the year-ago period. The company has had to slow production to upgrade assembly lines and ramp up capacity to make more vehicles later this year.
The upgrade work primarily affected the Mustang Mach-E, whose sales declined 21 percent in the second quarter. Ford also sold 4,466 F-150 Lightning electric pickup trucks in the quarter. That’s more than double the same period last year, and the truck’s second-highest quarterly total since sales began.
On Wednesday, General Motors, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai and Kia posted increases of 14 percent or more. Overall, automakers sold more than 4.1 million cars and trucks in the second quarter, a 16 percent increase from a year earlier, according to market research firm Cox Automotive. Overall, however, there were about 400,000 fewer cars than the industry typically sold in the second quarter before the coronavirus pandemic.
Sales have remained below their pre-pandemic levels as parts shortages have forced automakers to produce fewer vehicles over the past three years. The supply of computer chips, which had been particularly difficult to obtain, has improved in recent months, allowing automakers to produce more of the vehicles that consumers have been waiting to buy.
Cox now expects total sales to exceed 15 million vehicles in 2023. While this would be a huge increase from last year’s 13.9 million, it is far less than the 17 million vehicles sold by the industry before the pandemic.