A employee works on the 40 millionth Ford Motor Firm F-Collection truck on the meeting line on the Ford Dearborn Truck Plant on January 26, 2022 in Dearborn, Michigan.

Jeff Kowalski | AFP | Getty Pictures

DETROIT — Ford Motor’s US gross sales of recent automobiles fell 17% in the course of the first quarter, together with a 26% drop final month, because it grapples with a world scarcity of semiconductor chips.

The automaker on Monday reported first quarter gross sales of 432,132 automobiles, together with 159,328 items in March. These figures had been according to analysts’ expectations.

Andrew Frick, Ford’s vice chairman of gross sales, distribution and vans, stated the corporate skilled some optimistic indicators within the spring gross sales season.

“Whereas world semiconductor chip shortages proceed to create challenges, we noticed an enchancment in March gross sales, as in-transit stock improved 74% in comparison with February. F-Collection had 50,000 new retail orders in March, Whereas our document stood at 41%. Whole retail gross sales got here from pre-placed retail orders,” he stated in an announcement.

Gross sales of Ford’s vans declined 23% in the course of the first quarter. Automobile gross sales registered a decline of 49 per cent, whereas SUV gross sales registered a decline of simply 5.1 per cent.

Gross sales of Ford’s extremely worthwhile F-Collection pickups, together with the F-150 and its greater sibling, had been down 31% in the course of the first quarter, together with a 47% drop in March. On improved stock, Ford stated its SUV gross sales grew 39% in comparison with February.

Automakers like Ford have been managing a world scarcity of semiconductor chips for greater than a yr. Spare components have led to sporadic shutdowns of crops and exhausted new car inventories.

Ford is likely one of the main automakers to report its March and first quarter gross sales. Total US new car gross sales fell to under 3.3 million from January to March, business analysts say, down 14% from the primary quarter of 2021.

Ford touts demand for its newest automobiles, such because the Bronco and Bronco Sport SUVs and the Maverick small pickup truck. March Maverick gross sales rose 115% from February, with the typical car promoting vendor heaps 4 days after arrival.

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