World News

Ford quarterly sales slip on slowdown in passenger cars demand

(Reuters) – Ford Motor Co on Monday posted a 1.3% fall in fourth-quarter vehicle sales as soft demand for passenger cars outweighed higher sales of pick-up trucks.

Ford’s figures rounded off U.S. automakers’ sales for 2019, with passenger cars falling out of favor with buyers amid lower oil prices and as automakers focused on SUVs and pick-ups that are more profitable.

Total U.S. light-vehicle sales fell by about 1% from 2018, but still finished above 17 million vehicles for the fifth consecutive year.

Discounts during the key holiday season and lower interest rates helped pushed sales of Ford’s trucks to 330,075 in the quarter, up from 284,859 trucks a year earlier.

However, passenger car sales at the company declined 41% to 63,400 cars. The No. 2 U.S. automaker said it sold 601,862 vehicles in the quarter, compared with 609,693 vehicles a year earlier.

Shares of the company fell as much as 1.6%, while shares of No.1 U.S. automaker General Motors Co declined 1.4%.

Ford sold 896,526 full-size pickup trucks in 2019, outselling rival General Motors Co, which sold 802,962 pickups during the year.

Fellow automakers reported their quarterly sales numbers on Friday.

GM, which was hit by a month-long strike by its 48,000 hourly employees, reported a 6.3% fall in sales for the fourth quarter.

(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas and Dominic Roshan K.L. in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Aditya Soni)