Ford posted a smaller decline in annual U.S. sales compared with a year earlier

Ford Motor Co on Thursday posted a smaller decline in annual U.S. sales compared with a year earlier, as an improvement in inventory levels allowed the automaker to ship more sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and trucks to dealers.

The company sold 1,864,464 vehicles in 2022, down about 2.2%. In contrast, sales in 2021 fell by about 7%, reports Reuters.

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U.S. automakers have been able to sell more cars and trucks than their Asian counterparts, following supply chains snags due to COVID-19 lockdowns in China last year. General Motors Co on Wednesday reclaimed the top spot in U.S. auto sales from Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) aided by higher inventory levels.

Ford said on Thursday it sold 15,617 units of its popular F-150 Lightning electric truck in 2022 after they went on sale earlier in the year. The automaker last month raised prices of the cheapest variant of the electric truck for the second time in a span of three months as it navigates higher costs.

Shares of Ford, which sold an average of at least one F-Series Truck every 49 seconds in 2022, rose as much as 1% in premarket trade, before reversing course as broader markets fell. Sales of Ford’s SUVs, including models such as the Explorer and Bronco, rose nearly 5% in 2022.

Truck sales fell 5.5% in the year, compared with a near 8.0% drop in 2021. Overall, U.S. new vehicle sales in December were 1.26 million units, with an annual sales rate of 13.31 million, according to figures from Wards Intelligence released on Wednesday.

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