Ford Motor Co. today called its 10.7% drop in U.S. June sales “steady progress,” after a year of sharp declines across the industry.
DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. today called its 10.7 percent drop in U.S. June sales “steady progress,” after a year of sharp declines across the industry.
The monthly decline was Ford’s smallest since July of last year, a sign that U.S. auto sales may be recovering from the worst slump in 27 years.
The Dearborn, Mich., automaker says it sold 154,873 cars and light trucks last month, ending a 10-month string of sales drops of more than 20 percent compared with the same month the previous year.
“We’re making steady progress,” Jim Farley, the company’s group vice president of marketing, said in a statement. “We remain grounded, however, given challenging industry and economic conditions.”
The surprisingly low decline came after a string of months in which Ford and other automakers reported year-over-year drops of more than 40 percent. Ford’s sales were down 24 percent in May and off 37 percent for the first five months of the year.
But the company, which was the first to report June sales on Wednesday, has seen its market share grow while rivals Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Corp. struggle with financial problems.
In anticipation of increased traffic at dealers and higher sales later in the year, Ford announced Monday that it would boost its third-quarter production by 25,000 vehicles.
Ford is the only U.S. automaker to steer clear of bankruptcy protection and it’s the only one not receiving government loans to keep from running out of money. GM and Chrysler are receiving billions in loans, with Chrysler emerging recently from bankruptcy protection and GM inching its way closer to escaping Chapter 11.