Ford's U.S. Sales Up 43% in March

Strongest monthly increase since Feb. 1984

Amid signs of a broad recovery as every brand and category recorded gains, Ford reported a 43% gain in U.S. sales.

"Ford's plan is working," said Ken Czubay, Ford Motor Co. vice president for U.S. marketing, sales and service. "People increasingly are discovering that the Ford difference is the strength of our fresh, new product lineup, especially our leadership in quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart technologies and value."

Ford did not provide a market share forecast but said it had expanded its retail share for the 17th time in the past 18 months.

Retail sales were 38% higher than a year ago while fleet sales were up 53%.

Ford's sales excluding Volvo, which it recently sold to China's Geely, rose to 178,546 vehicles from 125,107 in March 2009.

The 43% monthly gain matched that posted in February, which was the automaker's strongest monthly rise since February 1984.

Sales for the first quarter were up 37.5% at 428,596 vehicles.

Volvo sales were down 17.6% at 5,237 vehicles.

"Our dealers welcome more new customers every day with the strongest lineup of products in our history," Czubay said. "We are working to build further on this sales momentum by delivering even more new products with industry-leading quality, smart technologies and fuel-efficient powertrains this year."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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