Ford to Boost Production as it Gains U.S. Market Share

May sales up 20% with new products accounting for 50% of sales

Ford Motor Co. said on June 2 it will increase production after it managed to boost its market share to the highest point in three years due to the popularity of its new models.

Ford had slashed production in the wake of a collapse in auto sales last fall amid a financial crisis and deepening recession.

But the automaker said sales were improving even as May sales were down 24% from a year earlier.

The automaker noted that its May sales of 155,954 vehicles were up 20% from April and were higher than any month since July 2008.

"At Ford, the future is now," said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president of sales and marketing. "New products account for 50% of our sales, and demand for these products is driving our market share gains. Even as the competitive environment intensifies, Ford's relentless pursuit of quality, fuel efficiency, smart technology and appealing designs is winning new customers."

Ford said it had managed to reduce its inventories to a 56 day supply of 350,000 vehicles, down 41,000 from the end of April and 210,000 vehicles lower than a year ago.

"Given tightly controlled inventories and the strength of its new products in the market, Ford is increasing second quarter North American production by 10,000 vehicles to 445,000," Ford said.

Ford also announced plans to build increase production to 460,000 vehicles in the third quarter, an increase of 42,000 vehicles compared with third quarter 2008.

Ford's year-to-date sales were down 37% at 620,303 vehicles.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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