Ford sales fall in October, bringing US industry sales down

DETROIT – Ford’s U.S. sales fell 12 per cent in October, a steeper-than-expected drop that lowered the overall industry’s sales.

Most automakers reported sales Tuesday, but Ford’s results were delayed by a day because of an electrical fire at its Dearborn, Michigan headquarters.

Overall U.S. auto sales fell 5.8 per cent last month, according to revised figures released Wednesday by data firm Autodata Corp. On Tuesday, Autodata had estimated a 4.4-per cent sales decline in October, but it had assumed Ford’s sales would fall 2 per cent.

Ford sold 188,813 vehicles last month. Its car sales plummeted 27.5 per cent, while its SUV sales were down 9 per cent.

Ford paused Transit Connect commercial van sales to fix faulty door latches, which also hurt sales. Transit Connect sales dropped 61.5 per cent.

One bright spot was Ford’s luxury Lincoln brand, which saw sales rise 7 per cent thanks in part to the new Continental sedan.

Ford’s F-Series pickup sales were flat compared to last October, but the F-Series remained the bestselling vehicle in the U.S., with 65,542 sold. The Chevrolet Silverado pickup, Ram pickup, Honda CR-V SUV and Toyota Camry sedan rounded out the top five.

After six straight years of growth and record sales in 2015, U.S. demand for new vehicles is beginning to wane. Industry sales are down slightly through October compared to last year, Autodata said.

Ford Motor Co. cut production at four North American plants last month because of falling demand. Analysts say other automakers may follow with more production cuts in the coming weeks.