Ford’s April Sales Show EV Progress, but the Chip Shortage Hurt Total Sales

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A Ford 2022 Mustang model.

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Courtesy Ford

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Ford Motor released US April sales Wednesday. The monthly update contains some good and bad news for investors.

Ford’s (ticker: F) sales of electric vehicles were the highlight. Total sales, however, are the lowlight. Semiconductors are to blame for the persistent problem of reduced production.

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First the bad news. Ford reported total US sales of 176,965 vehicles for April. That’s up from about 159,000 delivered in March 2022, but still down more than 10% compared with April 2021.

Ford didn’t change its full-year earnings guidance when it reported first-quarter numbers in late April, but that guidance assumed semiconductor availability “will improve in the second half,” said Chief Financial Officer John Lawler.

Ford expects operating income of about $12 billion this year. First quarter-operating income came in at $2.3 billion. A shortage of chips has constrained global auto production for more than a year and is partly to blame for relatively weak early 2022 numbers. Global output in 2021 was 7 million or 8 million units below underlying demand.

What’s more, Ford’s truck production was impacted adversely in the first quarter. Ford’s most profitable vehicles are its pickup trucks, according to benchmark analyst Mike Ward.

The better news in the April report is about EVs, the sales of which soared 139% from last April. Mustang Mach E sales came in at 3,805 units, up 95% year over year. Year to date, Ford has delivered almost 11,000 Mach Es in the US, up about 23% from 2021.

Ford is also delivering electric Transit vans in the US, with 528 units shipped in April. Shipments of Ford’s all-electric F-150 pickup truck are beginning as well.

Ford stock is down 0.3% in early trading. Sales probably aren’t doing it. The market isn’t doing much with the S&P 500 off 0.2%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.1%.

Investors seem to be waiting for the Fed rate decision due out later Wednesday. Investors expect short-term rates to rise 0.5% or 0.75%.

Investors and traders will react after the Fed moves.

Write to Al Root at [email protected]


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