Ford’s U.S. profits slide 33% as chip scarcity devastates auto business

DETROIT – U.S. profits of Ford Motor’s new autos past month declined by 33.1% from a 12 months before because of to an ongoing international lack of semiconductor chips that is wreaking havoc on the automotive market, the business said Thursday.

The Detroit automaker’s revenue capped off a dismal thirty day period of U.S. vehicle revenue in August, which plummeted to an modified promoting price of 13.09 million cars. That is the worst pace due to the fact June 2020 and down from this year’s peak of 18.5 million in April, in accordance to automobile data agency Motor Intelligence.

Analysts predicted the August promoting pace to be amongst 13.1 million and 14.4 million cars, with J.D. Power and LMC Automotive forecasting in general income to drop by 13.7% in contrast with August 2020.

The profits rate for any provided month measures how a lot of cars and trucks the market would sell for the 12 months if it bought the exact amount every month. It is really a most important barometer of the industry’s wellbeing and demand from customers.

August is traditionally one of the better automobile income months of the 12 months, but the chip lack has brought about automobile inventory levels to plummet to document lows and pricing of new cars and vehicles to skyrocket.

The Ford corporation symbol is shown on a indicator outdoors of the Chicago Assembly Plant on February 03, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.

Scott Olson | Getty Photographs

Sellers only have about 942,000 vehicles in stock for retail sale, in comparison with about 3 million prior to the coronavirus pandemic two years back, in accordance to Thomas King, president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Electricity.

“Despite the fact that stock is arriving at sellers daily, it is simply replacing the motor vehicles currently being sold, blocking dealers from expanding inventories to a degree necessary to guidance a larger sales rate,” King said.

Although most main U.S. automakers have switched to quarterly gross sales reporting, several other individuals that continue to report monthly sales such as Honda and Subaru also reported double-digit losses in August. Toyota, Volvo, Hyundai and Kia claimed slight income improves or losses in comparison with a yr back.

Product sales of approximately just about every motor vehicle in Ford’s lineup were down previous month in contrast with final year, with incremental gross sales gains from some new cars this kind of as its Bronco SUVs. Most notably, Ford’s bestselling F-Collection pickups declined by 22.5%.

Ford’s overall product sales final month topped 124,176 automobiles. Truck income were being down by virtually 30%, whilst SUVs have been off by 25.3% and automobile sales fell by 86% from August 2020.

A silver lining for Ford past month was that its retail income have been up by 6.5% when compared with July but continue to off by 33% from August 2020, according to Andrew Frick, vice president, Ford Profits U.S. and Canada.

Ford’s income come a working day right after the automaker confirmed it was as soon as yet again reducing manufacturing of its F-150 pickup truck and other remarkably profitable autos because of to the ongoing worldwide scarcity of semiconductor chips.

The origin of the lack dates to early previous year when Covid prompted rolling shutdowns of auto assembly vegetation. As the facilities shut, the wafer and chip suppliers diverted the parts to other sectors these as buyer electronics, which weren’t predicted to be as hurt by remain-at-house orders.

The problem is envisioned to value the world automotive field $110 billion in revenue in 2021, according to consulting organization AlixPartners.