Ford Motor said Thursday that its new-vehicle sales rose 10 percent in the three months of April through June, thanks to robust demand for trucks.
The automaker sold 531,662 motor vehicles, up from 483,688 in the second quarter last year, as sales of pickups, delivery vans and heavy trucks increased 26 percent. The gain in truck sales more than offset a decline of nearly 3 percent in sales of electric vehicles.
Ford sold 14,843 battery-powered cars and trucks in the quarter, down from 15,273 a year earlier. The company has had to slow production to upgrade assembly lines and increase its ability to make more vehicles later this year.
The upgrade work mainly 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 was more than double the total from a year earlier 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, an increase of 16 percent from a year earlier. The total, however, was about 400,000 fewer cars than the industry typically sold in the second quarter before the coronavirus pandemic.
Sales remain below their prepandemic levels because parts shortages have forced automakers to produce fewer vehicles for much of the last three years. The supply of computer chips, which have been particularly hard to get, has improved in recent months, allowing automakers to produce more of the vehicles that consumers have been waiting to buy.
Cox now expects total 2023 sales to exceed 15 million vehicles. While that would be a big increase from last year’s 13.9 million, it is well below the 17 million the industry sold before the pandemic.