Ford U.S. Sales Drop 31%

New F-150 helped Ford grow its market share despite the overall weakness in demand.

Ford Motor Co. saw its U.S. sales plummet by 31% in November but the automaker said it managed to increase its share of the shrinking domestic market. The number two U.S. automaker said it delivered 123,222 new vehicles in the month, including sales from its Volvo nameplate.

Ford said strong demand for its F-series trucks, particularly the all-new F-150 which was launched in November, helped it grow its market share despite the overall weakness in demand.

However, truck and sport utility sales were still down 29% to 81,546 while car sales were down 31.5% to 37,272.

Volvo sales were down 46.5% to 4,404 vehicles.

Ford said it plans to cuts its first quarter production to 430,000 vehicles in 2009 from 692,000 in the first quarter of 2008. It left its fourth quarter 2008 product levels at 430,000 vehicles.

"We believe the economy will continue to weaken in 2009," said Farley. "Our near-term production plan reflects this view, as we continue to align capacity with customer demand."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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