2021 Ford F-150 Lariat
U.S. auto sales for Ford Motor fell15.6% last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, decline in commercial fleet sales and tight inventories of its F-150 pickup trucks.
Sales of the popular full-size pickup tumbled by about 33% in the fourth quarter from the same time last year. The lower sales were attributed to lingering effects from factory shutdowns last spring due to Covid-19 as well as a changeover in production of the facilities to produce the redesigned F-150.
“We’re optimizing the production at both plants right now and it’s a matter of getting more F-150s out to our dealer lots,” Erich Merkle, Ford’s head of U.S. sales analysis, told CNBC. He said inventories of the F-150 were 141,000 units to end last year, down from 267,000 a year earlier.
Ford’s 2020 sales decline is expected to be in line with the overall U.S. automotive industry, which is expected to be off by about 15% to 14.5 million vehicles. That would be the lowest domestic sales since 2012. It also ends an unprecedented five-year streak of sales topping 17 million units.