Ford Motor Company (F -2.12%) said that it sold almost 198,000 vehicles in the U.S. in April, a 64.8% increase from a year ago -- and up 18.5% from its pre-pandemic result in April of 2019.
As with most automakers, Ford's sales were down sharply in April of 2020, as the initial outbreak of COVID-19 led to shutdowns in many parts of the world. But as the comparison with April of 2019 more clearly illustrates, demand for new Fords was very strong in the United States last month.
Andrew Frick, Ford's U.S. and Canada sales chief, said that high demand for the company's latest products -- including the new F-150 pickup, the Bronco Sport SUV, the electric Mustang Mach-E, and new hybrid versions of the F-150 and some SUVs -- allowed the company to deliver good results despite tight inventories.
"In April, we not only beat pre-coronavirus sales numbers from April 2019, but we saw record electrified vehicle sales for the month, along with record April Ford [brand] and Lincoln SUV sales," Frick said in a statement. "Trucks had their best retail performance since 2008."
Ford, like most global automakers, has been forced to trim production of key models amid a global shortage of semiconductors. That, combined with ongoing high retail demand for new cars and trucks, has led to tight inventories across the industry.
Ford said that it had a 35-day supply of new vehicles in its U.S. inventory as of May 1, well below the 60-day to 70-day supply that most automakers prefer. But Ford said that it's doing a bit better than average: The company estimates that the industry as a whole was at just a 33-day supply as of the beginning of the month.