Ford Sales Skid 26% in August

SUV sales plunged 53% and trucks dropped 39%

Ford Motor Co. said on Sept. 3 its August U.S. sales slid 26.6% from a year ago, citing a "weak economy."

The number two US automaker said it sold 155,690 vehicles from its domestic nameplates and the Volvo brand. Ford cited "higher demand" for fuel-efficient small cars and SUVs but this was offset by other factors.

"We expect the second half of 2008 will be more challenging than the first half, as weak economic conditions and the consumer credit crunch continues," said Jim Farley, Ford group vice president.

Ford's domestic nameplate sales -- Ford, Lincoln and Mercury -- totaled 151,021, down 25.6% from a year ago. That resulted from a 53% slide in sales of SUVs and 39% for trucks. Sales to fleet customers were off 31%. Volvo sales slumped 28.8% to 4,669.

Ford now plans to produce 890,000 vehicles in the second half of 2008, a drop of 50,000 from earlier forecasts.

Ford earlier this year sold its Jaguar and Land Rover nameplates to India's Tata Motors. In 2007 it shed the Aston Martin brand.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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