Ford sales growth slows as CDK cyberattack rattles auto industry

(Reuters) – Ford on Wednesday joined Detroit peer General Motors in reporting slower sales growth for the second quarter as the U.S. auto industry reels from a cyberattack that impaired a key software system used across dealerships.

The outage at CDK in late June, a crucial selling period, took down its dealer management system at more than 15,000 retail locations, becoming the latest roadblock for U.S. automakers recovering from supply-driven challenges.

High borrowing costs and economic uncertainty have also dashed hopes of a post-pandemic boom in vehicle demand driven by more people returning to offices.

Ford’s quarterly sales rose about 1% to 536,050 vehicles, compared with a 10% jump in 2023. Toyota Motor’s local unit and Honda also posted slower sales growth for the second quarter.

However, analysts expect automakers to recoup lost sales and GM has said some sales would shift to the current quarter due to the hack.

CDK said on Tuesday it was running ahead of schedule for bringing the dealer management system back online, with most dealer connections already live.

Ford also said hybrid and electric models helped drive growth in the quarter.

Quarterly sales of its gas-powered models fell 5%, while EV and hybrid vehicle sales were up about 61% and 55%, respectively.

Overall, U.S. new vehicle sales in June stood at around 1.32 million units, representing a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15.29 million units, according to data released by Wards Intelligence on Tuesday.

Reporting by Nathan Gomes in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath