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Ford stock active on August sales slump as chip shortage bites; GM plans more cuts

Ford stock active on August sales slump as chip shortage bites; GM plans more cuts
Business
Ford Motor Co. (F) reported a significant slump in overall August sales Thursday, typically one of its strongest months of the year, as the carmaker continues to grapple with supply chain bottlenecks and chip shortages that are hitting rivals in markets around the world.

Ford said August sales fell 33.1 per cent from last year to 124,176 vehicles, taking the overall annual pace of sales down from around 18 million at the start of the year to around 13 million at present. Still, a solid gain in electrified vehicles sales, which surged 67.3 per cent from last year to 8,756 vehicles, underscoring recent reports that suggest is doubling production targets for its F-150 Lightning amid a surge in customer demand for the newly-unveiled electrified truck.

“Retail sales increased 6.5 per cent in August relative to July, as production and dealer inventories showed monthly gains,” said Andrew Frick, Ford’s vice president for U.S. and Canada sales. “Nearly a third of our retail sales came from pre-sold orders last month, while adding an additional 41,000 new orders for the month. With improved availability, F-Series retail sales expanded 11 per cent relative to July giving Ford its best F-Series sales month since the chip shortage began, and F-150 Lightning has now surpassed 130,000 reservations.”

Ford shares were marked 0.6 per cent higher in early trading Thursday to change hands at $13.19 each, trimming their two-month decline to around 17.5 per cent.

General Motors (GM), meanwhile, said Thursday that it will cut production at the majority of its North American plants this month, including Fort Wayne, Indiana, Silao, Mexico and Wentzville, Missouri, while Tesla TSLA founder and CEO Elon Musk cautioned Wednesday that the carmaker’s new Roadster may not be released until 2022 owing to global semiconductor shortages.

GM shares edged 0.6 per cent higher to $49.40 (U.S.) each while Tesla rose 0.65 per cent to $738.68 each.

Last month Toyota (TM), the world’s biggest carmaker, said it would produce around 360,000 cars worldwide in September, a 40 per cent reduction from its recent average, but pledged to hold its 2022 financial year target of 9.3 million.

World number two Volkswagen, meanwhile, cautioned that the “supply of chips in the third quarter to be very volatile and tight” and said it can’t rule out a cut to its production schedule over the coming months.
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