Ford's U.S. Auto Sales Up 17% in August

Company's fuel efficient vehicles -- the Focus and hybrid versions of the Fusion and Milan sedans and Escape and Mariner sport utility vehicles -- posted record sales

Fueled in part by the popular government-funded "Cash for Clunkers" program, Ford Motor Co. posted a 17% jump in U.S. the company said on Sept. 1.

The substantial improvement follows an increase of 2.3% in July -- Ford's first year-on-year gain since November 2007.

The company said it had managed to boost retail market share in 10 of the last 11 months despite last year's collapse in sales to levels not seen in decades.

The second largest U.S. automaker reported a 21% increase in August retail sales for its core Lincoln, Mercury and Ford brands.

Total sales including lower-margin fleet sales rose to 176,323 from 151,021 in August 2008. Year-to-date sales, however, were down 24% at 1.1 million vehicles.

"We have the freshest line-up of new products in the industry," said Ken Czubay, the auto giant's vice president for U.S. marketing, sales and service. "Ford's leadership in quality, fuel-efficiency, safety and technology -- all are resonating with consumers, and it is being reflected in our sales results."

The company said its more fuel efficient vehicles -- the Focus and hybrid versions of the Fusion and Milan sedans and Escape and Mariner sport utility vehicles -- had posted record sales.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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