• Ford Closes Challenging Year With Strong Sales, GM Announces Electric Silverado, Job Growth Beats Ex

    Ford Closes Year With Strong Sales

    Ford Motor Co. sold fewer cars last year than in 2020 but finished 2021 with a strong quarter of sales.

    The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker reported Wednesday that it sold 508,451 vehicles in the United States in the fourth quarter, marking a 26.8% increase from the third quarter. Ford’s sales topped all other automakers during the fourth quarter.

    For the year, however, the company sold 1.9 million vehicles, a 6.8% decline from 2020. Ford, like most automakers, struggled with production because of a computer chip shortage slowing or temporarily closing assembly plants.

    Toyota North America was able to knock General Motors from the top U.S. sales spot last year, a position GM held for nearly a century.

    Toyota was less affected by the chip shortage largely because it had started stockpiling semiconductors after an earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011 that disrupted chip production. Its sales increased more than 10% last year.

    Ford and the other automakers now are investing heavily in electric vehicle production, building new assembly and battery plants.

    GM Announces Electric Silverado

    General Motors announced plans to produce an electric version of its Silverado pickup to compete with rival Ford's F-150 Lightning that is set to roll off an assembly line this year.

    GM showcased a work version and a luxury model of the electric Silverado on Wednesday during a virtual presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that runs through Friday.

    The announcement came a day after Ford said it will be doubling production capacity for its electric F-150 that has garnered 200,000 reservations.

    GM’s push also is part of a broader shift to producing and selling nothing but EVs by 2035.

    Meanwhile, Dutch company Stellantis, which owns Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and other brands, announced at the same show that the Chrysler brand will be all EVs by 2028. It showcased Airflow, its first all-electric concept under Chrysler that is scheduled to hit showrooms in 2025.

    Job Growth Beats Expectations

    Private payrolls rose beyond expectations in December, an indicator that the federal government’s employment report could be positive on Friday.

    Payroll company ADP reported that private payrolls expanded by 807,000 in December, beating Wall Street estimates of 375,000. It’s a large increase over the 505,000 in November, a number that ADP revised downward from 534,000.

    The caveat is that the data collection runs from the middle of the month to the middle of the following month. So, December’s data precedes the major spike in cases of the omicron coronavirus variant, raising some alarm bells that January’s job growth report could take a hit.

    ADP’s report shows that the service sector made up most of the increase with 669,000 while large businesses nearly matched small- and medium-size businesses that combined had 418,000 new jobs.

    Leisure and hospitality once again had the largest gain of all sectors with 246,000 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities was next with 138,000 followed by 130,000 in professional and business services.

    Source: www.CoStar.com