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Ford Stock Rises on Better-Than-Expected October Vehicle Sales

Ford Motor shares rise as vehicle sales are down 4% from a year earlier but improved over prior months.

Ford  (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report edged higher Wednesday as the automaker reported better-than-expected vehicle sales for October and as the industry tries to work through the semiconductor shortage.

Shares of the Dearborn, Mich., auto major at last check were up 2.7% to $18.49.

Ford reported sales of 175,918 new vehicles in October, down 4% from a year earlier but improved over prior months.

Truck sales were off 7%, while SUV sales rose 12.8%. Ford brand SUVs posted their best October retail sales in 21 years.

Retail sales were up 17.4% from a year earlier on the strength of the new Bronco, Bronco Sport and Mustang Mach-E. The three new SUVs drove sales higher with total combined sales of 19,413 SUVs.

Ford said October was "an electrified sales record for Ford," with 14,062 electrified vehicles sold, triple the year-earlier number. 

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The company's E-Transit is sold out and the electric F-150 Lightning has more than 160,000 reservations.

Mustang sales fell 30.1% and Lincoln sales dropped 17%, while the F-Series sales declined 4.7% year-over-year.

at the end of October, the automaker reported having 243,000 vehicles in gross stock, up 7,000 over September.

In addition, Ford took in 77,000 retail orders for new vehicles in October, up 25,000 from September’s new vehicle orders. 

Andrew Frick, vice president for Ford sales in U.S. and Canada, said that retail sales improved 16% from September, with retail share up 1.6 percentage points. 

Last week, Ford shares surged to the highest level in more than seven years after the carmaker topped its larger rival, General Motors  (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report, with stronger-than-expected third-quarter sales and boosted its full-year profit outlook.

Ford said it also managed to boost its overall inventory, despite plant closures and delays linked to the global shortage in semiconductors.