Ford's U.S. Auto Sales Down 6% in September

But sales were up for the quarter

Although sales fell 6% in September, Ford still managed to post its first quarterly sales increase in four years, the automaker said on Oct. 1.

The loss comes on the back of a 17% increase in August and a 2% gain in July, aided by the wildly popular government-funded "Cash for Clunkers" trade-in program which wrapped up in August.

Ford estimated that it gained over two points of market share compared with September 2008, which it said would mark the 11th time in the past 12 months that the company had gained retail market share.

"Our balanced new lineup of high-quality, fuel-efficient products helped us navigate through an exceptional period in industry sales," Ken Czubay, Ford vice president for U.S. marketing and sales, said. "With its volatile sales peaks and valleys and dramatic segment shifts, the third quarter was a great test of our One Ford Plan -- building a range of vehicles from small cars to hard-working trucks."

Sales of Ford's three main brands -- Ford, Lincoln and Mercury -- fell 5.8% to 109,939 vehicles in September and were down 22.3% for the year to date at 1.19 million.

The compact Fusion saw sales increase a quarterly 35% to 56,559 vehicles while Ford's hybrid vehicles -- the Fusion, Milan, Escape and Mariner -- posted a 239% quarterly increase to 12,186 vehicles.

Ford's F-series pickup trucks, sales of which were badly battered by the collapse of the housing and construction industries, posted its second monthly gain in September, up 3.5% to 33,877 vehicles.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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