By Claudia Assis
Ford Motor Co.’s sales dropped nearly 3% in the fourth quarter as sales of the star F-150 were hit by pandemic-related stoppages leading up to the release of the pickup truck’s newest version, the auto maker said Wednesday.
Ford’s /zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite F -4.16% total sales reached about 4.3 million vehicles in the quarter, a decline of 2.8% over the fourth quarter of 2019, the company said.
Total vehicle sales in the U.S. fell nearly 10% to 542,749 units, with sales of trucks down more than 12% and SUV sales up 4%.
Sales of Ford’s all-new 2021 F-150, the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for decades, began in December.
“Ford sales were impacted by lower F-150 inventories from the lingering effects of the Q2 coronavirus production stoppage leading up to the all-new F-150 transition,” the company said.
Sales of the Ford Super Duty pickup truck kept “a strong selling pace” and were up 14.1%, while sales of the F-150 were off nearly 33%, the auto maker said.
Ford called the quarter an “inflection point” as its sedan sales in the U.S. wind down and sales of newly redesigned pickup trucks and SUVs take off.
Several auto makers were expected to post significant declines for last year, halting a five-period in which U.S. sales surpassed 17 million vehicles annually.
General Motors Co. /zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite GM -4.35% on Tuesday reported rising fourth-quarter total sales, but sales were down 12% in 2020.
Tesla Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA -8.06% reported Saturday that it produced more than half a million vehicles in 2020, delivering 499,550 of these in the year, in line with the auto maker’s pre-pandemic guidance.
Shares of Ford have lost nearly 4% in the past 12 months, contrasting with gains of around 16% for the S&P 500 index. /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -2.45%