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Ford's 3Q car gross sales outperform the trade as demand rebounds from coronavirus lockdowns

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Sales of F-Series pickups and SUVs helped Ford Motor outperform its competitors in Detroit Crosstown as well as the broader auto industry in the third quarter.

While Ford vehicle sales were only 4.9% lower year-over-year, the decline was roughly half that of the broader industry and less than the declines seen by General Motors and Fiat Chrysler.

Such declines are usually not a cause for celebration, but this year is far from typical. New vehicle sales rebounded much faster than expected in the second quarter as the coronavirus pandemic resulted in plant shutdowns and closed dealerships, and sales fell more than 30% compared to 2019.

"The industry has made a very strong recovery from Q2 to Q3," Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president of marketing, sales and service in the United States, told CNBC on Friday. "It's been a crazy year, but the industry has been robust and our dealers have done a great job."

According to Ford, sales in the third quarter increased 27% over the last three months. According to the company, the company also had the best pickup sales in the third quarter since 2005.

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Steven Gregory