Ford's Sales in Europe Fall Slightly Amid Weak Demand

In its traditional 19 European markets, Ford sold 93,700 vehicles in July, off 4.4% year-over-year.

Ford of Europe said vehicle sales in its traditional 19 markets fell 4.4% to 93,700 units in July, amid weakened overall demand.

Ford's market share in the region was 8.3% for the first seven months of the year, 0.3% lower than the same period in 2010, according to the automaker.

Based on vehicle sales, Ford was the No. 2 brand in its traditional 19 European markets for the first seven months of the year.

Ford's "traditional" cluster of 19 European markets includes Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

In all 51 of its European markets, Ford's sales fell 0.9% to 118,300 units in July, according to the automaker.

For the first seven months of the year, Ford's sales in the 51 European markets totaled 953,800 vehicles, up 1.3%. Ford said the numbers were boosted by sales gains in Germany, Russia and Turkey.

"Our newest vehicles are breaking through with customers, especially the new C-MAX and Focus, and we are making substantial progress in Germany, Russia and Turkey," said Roelant de Waard, vice president, marketing, sales and service, Ford of Europe.

"At the same time, demand was fairly soft in July industry-wide, particularly in Southern Europe as concerns about the economy are impacting consumer confidence."

Among the bright spots for the automaker, July sales of the C-MAX, which Ford launched in late 2010, were up 245% in Germany year-over-year.

Year-to-date 2011 registrations of the Ford Galaxy and Ford S-MAX models in Ford's traditional 19 European markets jumped 14.4% and 10.5% respectively, marking the best volume for both vehicles since 2008, according to the automaker.

In the first seven months of 2011, Ford's operations in Turkey posted a 42.1% sales gain over the same period in 2010, up by 23,100 units to 77,900 units.

In the United Kingdom, Ford's largest European market by volume, the automaker commanded 15.4% through July.

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