Ford Motor (NYSE: F) sales plunged 15.6% in 2020 as a consequence of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, lack of commercial fleet sales as well as small inventory of the F-150 pickup trucks.
Sales for the full-size pickup fell approximately 33% during the fourth quarter in comparison to the same period of the previous year. Factory shutdowns due to Covid-19 and the transition in production of the facilities largely impacted the fall in sales.
“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. Merkle mentioned that inventory of the F-150 was about 141,000 in 2020, much lower than the 267,000 from the prior year.
The auto industry as a whole suffered an economic downturn and Ford sales is anticipated to reflect that. The automotive industry is estimated to be off by around 15% to 14.5 million vehicles, its lowest point since 2012.
Truck sales fell 11.3%, while SUV sales plummeted 9.7% in 2020. The company’s Passenger cars, which are to be discontinued, dropped 44.7% compared to 2019.
Ford vice president of U.S. and Canada sales, Andrew Frick, thinks the company is well set from a product standpoint as it moves on from passenger vehicles.
“Fourth quarter represented an inflection point at Ford in our transition from cars to a much greater focus on iconic trucks and SUVs to better serve our customers,” he said in a release. “We are well positioned to see the benefits of our focused efforts throughout 2021.”