Ford car sales jumped in February as supply chain issues improved

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Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Farley gives the sign before announcing that Ford Motor will partner with China-based Amperex Technology to build an all-electric vehicle battery plant in Marshall, Michigan, at a press conference in Romulus, Michigan on February 13, 2023.

Rebecca Cook | Reuters

DETROIT – Ford Motor’s February sales increased more than 20% from subdued results a year earlier, as the automaker ramps up production of its F-series pickups and electric vehicles.

The Detroit automaker reported Thursday sales in February of 157,606 vehicles, up 22% from a year earlier and a 7.7% increase from January. Ford’s sales were hampered by supply chain problems in February 2022, marking one of its worst months since 2021.

Sales of Ford’s F-Series pickups jumped 22% last month compared to a year earlier, rising to about 55,000 units, including 1,336 units of its electric F-150 Lightning. So far this year, sales of F-Series pickups are up 15%.

Sales of Ford’s electric vehicles – the main focus of Wall Street – continue to rise, up 88% from a year earlier. However, EV sales still only represent 2.9% of the automaker’s sales through February.

The automaker sold 3,600 F-150 electric vehicles through February. However, sales were down 41% compared to January as the automaker halted production and shipments of the vehicle last month due to a battery fire.

Wall Street analysts estimate that US auto sales last month were better than expected, reaching a seasonally adjusted sales level of around 15 million units. BofA Securities estimated sales were up 8.5% last month compared to February 2022.

Ford’s sales in February were higher than other automakers that reported monthly sales. Toyota Motor’s sales last month were down 8.5% compared to a year earlier, while Hyundai-Kia’s sales were up 16.2%. Many automakers have moved to reporting sales quarterly instead of monthly.

The auto industry continues to navigate some supply chain and production issues, although the flow of parts and vehicle production is expected to be more consistent this year than in recent years.

“We are optimistic about our performance this year,” Hyundai Motor North America CEO Randy Parker told CNBC on Wednesday. “We expect interest rates to continue to rise for the remainder of the year, and we hope not that leads us to decline.”

– CNBC Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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