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Ford's U.S. Sales Decline Narrowed in May as Demand Remained High for Its Electric Vehicles and Pickups

Michael Wayland / CNBC
  • Ford's U.S. sales fell just 4.5% in May, while the overall industry was likely down about 30%.
  • Sales of F-Series pickups and the Mustang Mach-E EV were both up last month from a year ago.
  • Demand remains very high for new Ford models including the Bronco and Bronco Sport SUV and the small Maverick pickup.

Ford Motor said Thursday that its U.S. sales fell just 4.5% in May from a year ago, a narrower decline than in recent months, as it continued to see white-hot demand for its latest vehicles amid tight supplies of new cars, trucks and SUVs.

Ford and other automakers are continuing to fight through supply-chain issues, including a global shortage of semiconductor chips, that has hampered new vehicle production around the world for over a year. Ford's monthly U.S. sales were down by over 10% in April and by more than 20% in February and March.

A Ford spokesperson said the company estimates that overall U.S. new vehicle sales were down about 30% from a year ago in May, meaning that Ford likely gained market share.

Ongoing disruptions to Ford's manufacturing have led to tight inventories at its dealers. In response, Ford has offered incentives to customers who are willing to place orders for their vehicles and wait for them to be built and delivered. Almost half of Ford's retail sales in May came from customer orders placed earlier in the year, the company said in a statement.

With chip supplies still limited, Ford has been prioritizing production of its newest models, including the electric Mustang Mach-E crossover, the Bronco SUV, and the small Maverick pickup, as well as its highly profitable mainstays, such as the F-Series pickups and the large Ford and Lincoln SUVs.

Sales of Ford's F-Series pickups, an important driver of the company's profits, were up 6.9% in May from a year ago. Deliveries of the Mustang Mach-E were more than double the model's year-ago total.

From January through May, Ford has sold 763,558 vehicles in the U.S., down 13.3% from the same period in 2021.

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