Ford Motor Co. outscored its Detroit rivals, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler during the third quarter by reporting a smaller sales decline and picking up share in the pickup market.
Ford, reporting a day after GM and FCA, was down 4.9% compared to a year ago. GM and FCA reported 10% declines during the third quarter as the industry showed signs of recovering from the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, which stalled sales last spring.
“Despite the challenging pandemic environment, our retail unit sales were down only 2 percent and we had our best third quarter of pickup truck sales since 2005,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president of sales marketing and service. “F-Series finished the quarter on a high note with September sales up 17.2% with over 76,000 F-Series pickups sold. This is a testament to our winning product portfolio and the performance of our great dealers.”
FCA’s Ram pickup deliveries slipped 3.4% year over year to 156,157 pickups during the third quarter as the Chevrolet Silverado pickup from GM fell 5.4% to 145,525 units. Subaru and Toyota reported sales gains in September as actual sales gains versus the previous year.
Volvo Cars USA maintained its upward momentum trend announcing its fourth consecutive month of year-over-year growth. Retailing 10,274 cars in September 2020, the strong result represents 10.2% growth over the same period last year and marks the best September result for the brand since 2004.
Honda brand sales climbed 11% as trucks set a September record with a 20.4% jump, while Acura September sales increased 16.6% on strong performances from MDX, RDX and ILX. “September marks a high-water mark for Honda sales this year with double-digit gains and our first month in positive territory since the pandemic began,” said Dave Gardner, executive vice president of National Operations at American Honda.
Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today reported total September sales of 24,237 vehicles, an increase of 28.7 percent compared to September 2019. Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. (MMNA) today reported third-quarter 2020 sales of 24,857 vehicles, an increase of 1.5% over the same period in 2019, and up a significant 49% over the previous quarter of 2020.
Volkswagen of America reported its sales 7.6% and Porsche Cars North America Inc. said third quarter U.S. retail deliveries rose 5% from the same period a year ago, continuing a recovery trend from coronavirus lockdowns in the first half of 2020.
September 2020 sales benefitted from two extra sales days, and the Labor Day holiday weekend, which fell in August for 2019 results. Incoming figures from reporting automakers are reflecting year-over-year improvements for the month, and on an unadjusted volume level the sales tally for the month is expected to be up 2-3% year over year the first time since February 2020 the market will realize a monthly y/y improvement,” noted IHS analysts Stephanie Brinley.
“The SAAR reading for the month is expected to improve from the 15.2 million unit reading in August, possibly bumping against a 16-million-unit pace. But this would still be well below the 17.2 million unit reading of September 2019,” she said.