Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) recently announced that its F-Series remained the best-selling American vehicle in 2022. That keeps up a string that goes back 41 years. Total sales for the pickup line reached 640,000. What Ford did not say is that F-Series sales were in trouble. (Check out the good, the bad and the ugly of owning a Ford F-150.)
Through the first 11 months of the year, F-Series sales reached 578,881, down 12.8% compared to 2021. It is unlikely that trend changed in December. Ford’s sales of the F-Series are in trouble.
Ford continued to release news about sales without releasing context. It bragged about total November sales results when unit sales dropped 7.8% to 146,364.
Ford’s comments about the F-Series’ success were glowing. Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford Blue, said, “The Ford truck team’s ability to anticipate customer needs, continuously innovate, and provide best-in-class levels of capability and performance has helped make F-Series the sales leader time and time again.” This ignores the unit sales problem. Galhotra does not seem to think year-over-year figures are important.
Another important analysis of Ford’s sales shows that F-Series sales are 36% of Ford’s U.S. total. The F-Series sales decline spells broader trouble. Ford’s earnings have to be challenged when its flagship has problems.
The news is another reason Ford’s shares have dropped 50% in the past year. Shares of rival Toyota are off 31%, but that is better than the overall market.
A tip of the hat to Ford’s management for another comment to investors that is short of a fair and reasonable standard.
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