Ford Feb Light-Vehicle Sales Down 48% In US As Plunge Continues
The nation's third-largest auto maker, which has so far sidestepped the need for federal assistance, also said second-quarter North American production will be 38% below year-earlier levels, reflecting efforts to pare inventory and keep output in line with the sales slump.
"A key element of our strategy to build our reputation and improve resale values is to align our production with consumer demand," said Ken Czubay, vice president, sales and marketing. And while the operating environment "remains challenging, ironically, these times provide the best opportunity to distance Ford from the competition."
The news comes amid growing concern that the world's auto makers won't get the second-half sales bounce in the U.S. they had been banking on to slow their financial erosion. January sales hit a 27-year low, with February expected to be at similar levels and 2009 sales estimates continuing to be pared. The year is widely expected to result in the fewest U.S. auto sales in decades.
Ford said domestic light-vehicle sales fell to 99,050 from 192,178, the second time in as many months the figure dropped below 100,000. The result was roughly in line with analysts' expectations.
There were 24 selling days in February, one less than a year earlier.
The other major auto makers will report February sales later Tuesday. Ford shares were recently down 2.1% at