Ford Motor Company's problems continued in March as sales fell 9% to 264,975 vehicles, largely on the back on weak truck sales and a planned reduction in sales to rental car companies.
Sales for the first quarter of the year are now down 13.2% at 642,960 vehicles. Compared with March 2006, car sales were down 14.6% at 89,484 vehicles and truck sales down 5.8% at 175,491 vehicles.
Strong sales in midsized crossover vehicles offset further weakness in Ford's critical F-series pickup truck, which fell 15% to 71,481 vehicles in March.
Ford said it expected F-series sales to improve as it rolls out the all-new 2008 Super Duty model and noted that March sales were the highest volume since August 2006. Ford did see a sharp increase of mid-sized sedan sales in March, as new models posted at 40% growth to 24,094 units.
"Ford is moving quickly to operate profitably at lower volumes and a changed mix, and we are encouraged our retail market share appears to be stabilizing over the past several months," Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas division, said. "We remain committed to offering more of the products that our customers really want, and the popularity of our new cars and crossovers is proof we're delivering."
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007