As initially reported by the Census Department, motor vehicle sales were 1.2% in July following a 0.9% gain in June. At the time, I commented, “This is unbelievably bizarre in the face of actual auto sales reports.”

The Census Bureau revised sales estimates much lower in September as noted in Retail Sales Unexpectedly Decline, Huge Negative Revisions in June and July: Reflections on “Bizarre” Sales Reports.

Today we learn Ford to cut production at five North American vehicle plants due to rising inventory and slumping sales.

In Wake of Slumping Car Sales, Ford Will Idle 5 North American Plants: What? No Hurricane Bounce?

Ford Motor Co said on Tuesday it plans to idle five North American vehicle assembly plants for a total of 10 weeks to reduce inventories of slow-selling models.

The plants affected include three assembly plants in the United States and two in Mexico, the company said in a statement. The vehicle models include the Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ midsize sedans, the Ford Focus compact car, the Lincoln Continental and Ford Mustang, Ford Fiesta and the Ford Transit van.

The factories involved employ more than 15,000 people, according to Ford’s website. The company did not say how many of those workers would face temporary layoffs.

Ford Inventory Numbers

  • 111 days’ supply of unsold Mustangs
  • 87 days’ supply of Fusions
  • 103 days’ supply of Transit vans
  • 162 days’ supply of Lincoln Continentals

Automakers aim for 65 to 70 days of inventory of most models.

Note that production cuts are on the way despite the expected bounce in sales due to hurricane damage.