Ford U.S. Auto Sales Jump 24% in January

Higher sales for every brand and in every product category propelled the growth.

Ford Motor Co. announced an sales increase of 24% and estimated its market share grew by two points from a year earlier. The gains follow strong growth in recent months and came after rival Toyota was forced to suspend sales on some of its most popular models in the wake of a massive recall due to faulty accelerator pedals.

"People increasingly are discovering that the Ford difference is the strength of our products, particularly our leadership in quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart technologies and value," said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president for U.S. marketing, sales and service.

Ford estimated that its total sales of 112,406 vehicles in January would result in a U.S. market share of about 16%.

The second largest U.S. automaker said higher sales for every brand and in every product category propelled the growth.

Cars sales were up 43%, crossovers were up 20%, sport utilities were up 8%, and trucks and vans were up 14%.

Among brands, Ford sales were up 26%, Lincoln sales were up 16% and Mercury sales were up 6%.

Sales to government, commercial and rental fleets were up 154% from last January's depressed levels when purchases were deferred due to the credit crunch and economic crisis.

Sales at Volvo, which Ford is in the midst of selling to China's Geely, were up 42% at 4,128 vehicles.

The company reported net earnings of $2.7 billion profit for 2009 and said it expects to be profitable in 2010 and 2011. Ford also managed to post its first annual market share gain since 1995 last year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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