Sales of F-series pickups and SUVs helped Ford engine Outperform Detroit Crosstown’s competitors as well as the broader auto industry in the third quarter.
While Ford vehicle sales were only 4.9% lower than in the same period last year, the decline was about half that of the broader industry and less than the declines felt by the branches General Motors and Fiat Chrysler.
Such declines are usually not a cause for celebration, but this year is far from typical. New car sales recovered much faster than many had expected from the second quarter, when the coronavirus pandemic led to operational shutdowns and closed car dealerships Sales down by more than 30% compared to 2019.
“The industry has made a very strong recovery from Q2 to Q3,” Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president of marketing, sales and service in the United States, told CNBC on Friday. “It’s been a crazy year, but the industry has been robust and our dealers have done a great job.”
According to Ford, sales in the third quarter increased 27% over the last three months. According to the company, the company also had the best pickup sales in the third quarter since 2005.
Consumer sales contributed to the rebound, while Ford’s fleet sales to businesses in the third quarter also showed signs of recovery.
“The fleet also recovered well. It was very good to see that. We were down 13.7% in the third quarter, but 137% compared to the second quarter,” said LaNeve, citing the sale of the Explorer Company police interception vehicles.
Explorer sales were up 74% year over year in the third quarter. Ford F-series pickups rose 3.5%. Smaller Ford Ranger pickups rose 8.2%.
According to LaNeve, Ford is “cautiously optimistic” about fourth-quarter vehicle sales.
“We have really good momentum in the fourth quarter,” he said. “Obviously, no one really knows what twists and turns a pandemic or the elections might bring, but the third quarter has certainly exceeded expectations and we are looking forward to the fourth quarter.”
Ford’s sales declined 17.5% in the third quarter from the same point in time in 2019. GM’s sales fell 17.4% during that time, while Fiat Chrysler was down about 20%.