FORD EDGE AND MKX SALES

Ford sees uptrend in US retail sales

2 June, 2007

BY OUR AUTOMOBILE CORRESPONDENT

As the US sales figures for May 2007 come out, Ford Motor is expected to show drop in sales. However, according to an official, its retail sales to individual buyers is likely to post a year-over-year monthly increase for the first time since October 2006. A automobile sector report, quoting a top sales analyst at Ford saying that the increase, which includes the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands, would be largely due to rising sales of new crossover vehicles.

It has also been forecast that sales in the US would see a bit of a rebound from April, due largely to increased sales of crossovers and small cars because of high gasoline prices.

The sales figures, however, is seen dipping by a single-digit percentage when compared with May 2006. The sales would include sales made to rental car companies and other fleet buyers too.

The auto major is in the process of reducing low-profit sales to rental car companies and is planning a 20 per cent cut.

Adding that the strategies Ford is currently adopting, the company is likely to see its highest level of retail sales since August 2006. The company was trying to clear out vehicles at the end of a model year ever since.

In the meantime, better retail sales results may be thanks to the fast increasing sales of the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers. These vehicles can do the things a truck-based sport utility vehicle can do but are more fuel efficient because they are built on car underpinnings, a report added.

Taking the figures put out during May 2006, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury had only three crossovers, namely the Ford Escape and Freestyle and the Mercury Mariner. The two new crossovers should help Ford's crossover sales grow 70% in May 2007 when compared with May 2006, it has been predicted.

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