Ford's October U.S. Sales Up, Chrysler's Down

Ford grew 3.1%, Chrysler down 30%

Ford Motor Co. said on Nov. 3 that its October U.S. sales grew 3.1% from a year ago, while rival Chrysler saw a 30% slump in vehicle sales.

Ford said the rise marked the third increase in the past four months for the number-two automaker. Total sales of new cars under the Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo brands rose to 136,920 last month. The figure was up 21% from September, which saw a pullback in car buying following the end of government incentives for trade-ins under the "cash for clunkers" program.

Its retail market share was up for the 12th time in 13 months, helped by the new Taurus sedan and increased sales of its "crossover" sport utility vehicles. "Consumer demand for our new high-quality, fuel-efficient products is driving Ford's market share gains," said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president. "Ford vehicles are among the 'freshest' available by any automaker -- with more than 80 percent of our sales in October coming from our new 2010 models."

The company estimates its total market share in October was more than 15% -- higher than a year ago and higher than its share in the first nine months of 2009.

Chrysler Group reported total U.S. sales for October of 65,803 units. Despite the year-over-year drop, the figure was up 6% compared with September.

"The industry showed signs of improvement this month with increasing sales, which is a trend we expect to continue for the remainder of the year," said Chrysler executive Fred Diaz. "Chrysler Group expects to get its fair share of the increases as November and December traditionally are two of the best months for SUV (sport utility vehicle sales, and the Jeep brand offers customers the best SUVs in the marketplace." Chrysler said it would offer zero percent financing on many cars along with other incentives in November as part of its effort to spark more sales.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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