Bronco SUVs in production at the Ford Michigan plant, June 14, 2021.
Michael Wayland | CNBC
DETROIT – Ford Motor sales in June and the second quarter were below analysts’ expectations as a global semiconductor die shortage led to significant production cuts and inventory restrictions.
Ford sold 475,327 vehicles in the second quarter, up 9.6% year over year, as the coronavirus pandemic caused Americans to seek shelter and temporarily close car dealerships. Edmunds was expecting Ford sales to grow 10.5% while Cox Automotive was forecasting a 20.5% increase.
For June, the automaker announced on Friday that its sales were down 26.9%, including a drop of about 30% on its F-series pickups.
Ford previously said it expects to lose half of its production in the second quarter due to the chip shortage. Earlier this week, it also announced further production cuts in July due to the problem.
Separately, the automaker said reservations for its F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, slated for release next year, have topped 100,000 since its debut in May.
Ford’s sales follow those of GM and other automakers, who report significant increases in sales in the second quarter, but at a slower pace during the quarter due to low vehicle inventories caused by the chip shortage.
“The quarter started off really well, April broke many sales records of over 18 million, and then we saw inventories continue to shrink,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of insights. “Consumer demand is still very strong, but inventory is a bit short.”
According to analysts, the sales rate in June was around 15.5 million vehicles. The forecast for the sales rate was between 15.7 million and 16.4 million after 17.1 million vehicles in May and 18.6 million vehicles in April.
Sales pace for a given month measures how many cars the industry would sell for the year if it sold the same amount every month. It’s a key barometer of health and consumer demand for the industry.
The chip shortage is causing turmoil in America’s auto industry. In the second quarter, Toyota Motor was the top-selling automaker in the US, ousting General Motors.
The Japanese automaker reported sales of 688,813 vehicles in the US from April through June on Thursday. That compares to GM at 688,236 vehicles during the second quarter.