Ford Motor said Thursday that new vehicle sales rose 10 percent in the three months of April through June, thanks to strong demand for trucks.
The automaker sold 531,662 motor vehicles, up from 483,688 in the second quarter of last year, while sales of pickups, vans and heavy trucks increased 26 percent. The gain in truck sales more than offset the nearly 3 percent decline in electric vehicle sales.
Ford sold 14,843 battery-powered cars and trucks in the quarter, up from 15,273 a year earlier. The company has had to slow production to upgrade its assembly lines and make more vehicles later this year.
The upgrade work primarily affected the Mustang Mach-E, whose second-quarter sales fell 21 percent. Ford also sold 4,466 F-150 Lightning electric pickups in the quarter. That was more than double the year-earlier total 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 was about 400,000 fewer cars than the industry typically sold in the second quarter before the coronavirus pandemic.
Sales remain below pre-pandemic levels as parts shortages have forced automakers to produce fewer vehicles over 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 vehicles consumers have been waiting to buy.
Cox now expects total sales to exceed 15 million vehicles by 2023. While that would be a big increase from last year’s 13.9 million, it is well short of the 17 million the industry sold before the pandemic.