By Anne Steele
Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday reported U.S. auto sales tumbled 12% in October, hurt by fewer selling days and in line with industry results released Tuesday.
The Detroit auto maker sold 187,692 light vehicles, compared with 213,105 in the month a year ago.
Ford said Monday it would delay its report, originally scheduled for Tuesday, due to a fire at its headquarters. The electrical fire interrupted power to several buildings, including one of the company's main data centers that its dealers use to report and track sales. The No. 2 U.S. auto maker said battery backups protected data saved in the system, but the lack of full power shut the data center down for most of Monday's business day and dealers were unable to report final-day sales.
On Tuesday, auto makers reported an encouraging trend for earnings in October, posting strong retail demand for profitable light trucks that is likely to achieve a record level even as overall car and light truck sales are cooling off.
Though Ford's overall truck sales declined -- dragged by a 62% drop in Transit Connect sales -- its popular F-series pickups edged a 0.1% increase for their best October in more than a decade.
More than 62% of vehicles sold at dealerships during the month were pickup trucks or sport-utility vehicles, estimates to researcher J.D. Power, a shift sparked by fuel-efficiency gains in heavier vehicles and cheap gasoline prices. Overall volume likely sputtered during the month due to fewer selling days compared with October 2015, but the annualized pace likely hit its strongest clip in 11 months.
Write to Anne Steele at Anne.Steele@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 02, 2016 10:24 ET (14:24 GMT)
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