An employee of Ford Motor inspects the all-new Ford Explorer 2020 before rolling to ensure quality for our customers.
Ford Motor reported Thursday that its US vehicle sales in the second quarter decreased by 33.3%, in line with industry expectations, as the corona virus caused consumers to stay home and dealers and factories quit.
US vehicle sales were estimated to fall by about 34% in the second quarter, according to auto research firm Edmunds and TrueCars ALG. The second quarter is expected to be the worst of the year for automakers due to the pandemic.
Every vehicle in the Ford range except Explorer SUV and Ranger mid-size pickup was down during the second quarter. These vehicles increased by 12.4% and 19.8% respectively, which marked the sale of such commercial vehicles remained relatively good for sales to consumers.
Ford reported retail sales to consumers in the second quarter decreased 14.3% compared to a year earlier, including a 0.4% decrease in truck sales and a 22% decrease in SUVs. Retail car sales fell 34.7%.
Despite the declines, Ford said retail sales grew by an estimated full percentage point to 13.3% – the car manufacturer’s best retail quarter in five years.
“Our results were largely driven by full-size pickups,” Mark LaNeve, Ford’s vice president of US marketing, sales and service, told CNBC.
Mostly due to declines in its fleet unit, which includes sales to authorities and companies, sales of F-Series pickups decreased 22.7% during the second quarter.
Ford, according to LaNeve, is optimistic that demand has recovered for its commercial operations as well as retail sales for the rest of the year.
“We believe we are in good shape during the summer sales season for the third quarter and hopefully we can continue with some of the strong profit gains. All-in-one in an unprecedented, very challenging quarter that we overperformed.”
There remains concern for the rest of the year about a potential resurgence of Covid-19 affecting the automotive industry, LaNeve said.
Car manufacturers in the United States had to stop vehicle production from March to mid-May due to the pandemic. They have also reduced or deferred wages for the executive and white collar and withdrew guidelines for the year.